Tributes have poured in for ‘perfect gentleman’ and ‘remarkable man’ Brian High – who lived in Haywards Heath for 60 years.
Brian was a well-known member of the community. He died last Monday at St Peter and St James Hospice at the age of 87.
His daughter Sarah said he will be ‘greatly missed by his family and friends’.
Brian was secretary of the Fox Hill Residents Association for many years and ‘worked tirelessly for the benefit of residents’.
He also had great relationships with the town and district council.
Speaking on behalf of his family and groups in the town, good friend Mike Bright, said: “Always a perfect gentleman, Brian and his late wife Audrey were well-known for their dedication and involvement in key town issues for the benefit of this community.
His life was characterised by a wide-ranging and informed interest in the world around him and a desire to contribute to his community. We will all miss him.Mike Bright
“Brian was a founder member of the Central Sussex Independent Patient Forum and attended nearly every meeting, usually bringing his beloved Audrey.
“He was perceptive, concise and cogent and his local knowledge and contacts in the NHS and Mid Sussex gave his arguments an authority to be noted.
“His calmness and manner made the audience around the table sit up, concentrate, and listen, an enviable trait in any speaker.
“Brian contributed greatly to the local NHS services, with his thorough and diligent work as secretary of the Dolphins Practice Patient Participation Group.
“His life was characterised by a wide-ranging and informed interest in the world around him and a desire to contribute to his community. We will all miss him.”
Brian was also a staunch supporter of the Mid Sussex Older People’s Council (MSOPC) and the news of his death was heard with ‘great sadness’.
Until his recent illness he attended most of its events with Audrey and was a ‘highly intelligent, caring and true English gentleman’.
Barbara Baldwin, chairman of MSOPC, said: “As we remember and pay tribute to a truly remarkable man in our thoughts and prayers, we also remember and extend our sympathies to his family.
“Brian was also for many years a member of Haywards Heath U3A and leader of a French language group.
“Such was the success of this group that there are now two groups – a tribute to Brian’s enthusiasm.
“His great sense of humour was based on a natural love of the English language which he always used to great effect.”
Tony Reynolds, former chairman of MSOPC, said Brian’s skill in presentation made the task of the chairman ‘so much easier that his contributions were always looked forward to’.
Eric Bassett, chairman of the Haywards Heath Society, said: “Brian was a member for many years and contributed to many projects.
“He often represented the society’s views at council meetings and did so with his amazing command of the English language.
“It was a pleasure to listen to him especially when he was correcting those in authority or bringing them to account.
“Thanks to his efforts in working with Highways and councillors Fox Hill now has a 30mph speed limit. He was well respected by all local authorities.”
Garry Wall, leader of Mid Sussex District Council, said he and his fellow Franklands Ward councillors were ‘always grateful for the constructive representations made by Brian’ and that he was ‘always a pleasure to work with’.
Brian’s funeral is being held at Wivelsfield Parish Church next Thursday.