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Tributes paid to Isles of Scilly's 'outstanding community leader' Mike Hicks

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: April 02, 2013

Mike Hicks was chairman of the Council of the Isles of Scilly. Above, pictured in 2001, when he retired as chairman of the Steamship Company

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Tributes have been paid to Mike Hicks, chairman of the Council of the Isles of Scilly, who has died after short illness.

Born on the islands in 1934, Mr Hicks was a respected figure in business, as well as local and regional politics. He died in his sleep at St Mary's Hospital on the main Scillonian island, on Thursday night.

Andrew George, MP for St Ives, said: "Mike was an outstanding community leader; someone who remained remarkably and resolutely calm in any storm and who retained unwavering determination to see things through," he said.

"It was evident that his commitment to community service was borne out of a strong sense of selfless duty to serve others and for what he considered to be in the best long term interests of all."

Mr George said that only recently Mr Hicks had spoken of his hope of being involved in the transition of the council after a recent period of turbulence surrounding the island's school and the departure of its former chief executive.

Mr George added: "He is irreplaceable. But he leaves a legacy many good works, and a powerful and memorable contribution to local community life."

Amanda Martin, vice-chairman of the Isles of Scilly Council, said the passing of Mr Hicks was a matter of "tremendous sadness."

"His presence within the Council of the Isles of Scilly will be greatly missed."

Mr Hicks was the son of parents from two local clans who was intensely proud of his Scilly roots and married his childhood sweetheart, Jocelyn Trenear, another Scillonian.

Much of Mr Hicks' life revolved around the sea and boats. He was a boatman who used to carry out the Bishop Rock Lighthouse relief with his father, later taking over the duties with his own boat Sea King.

His own family firm, Hicks and Son, had the postal delivery contract to the off-islands for many years.

He was also a member of the St Mary's Boatman's Association working alongside his three sons.

He went on to become a chairman of the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company, retiring in 2001 although his interest in transport matters continued throughout his life.

In recent weeks he dedicated much of his time to trying to secure funding for the future of the sea link between Penzance and Scilly and was an active participant in discussions with Penzance Town Council and Cornwall Council.

Mr Hicks' determination to serve his community led to him being elected to the Council of the Isles of Scilly in May 1985. In 1996 he became chairman of the Scilly council for one year before, in 2010, becoming the first councillor to be re-elected as chairman in a separate council term.

He also served on the Devon and Cornwall Police Authority.

Mr Hicks had said one of the highlights of his civic career was when he hosted the Queen's visit to the islands in June 2011.

He is survived by his wife, their five children, eight grandchildren and a great grandson.

His funeral will be held on St Mary's on Friday.

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