‘We need more people like John Groom’: Town celebrates the life of ‘Mr Bungay’
PUBLISHED: 17:39 31 January 2019
Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk
Hundreds of mourners braved the bitter cold to pay their respects to the “honourable” and “generous” John Groom.
Hundreds of mourners braved the bitter cold to pay their respects to the “honourable and generous” Bungay stalwart John Groom.
The town councillor and former mayor of Bungay was laid to rest at St Mary’s Church yesterday.
Friends, family and residents young and old attended the service to commemorate his life and share their memories of the man dubbed “Mr Bungay”.
The coffin of the business owner was drawn into the church grounds by his beloved Suffolk Punch, Gifford.
Traffic halted and the town stood back to watch his horse trot proudly down Trinity Street, bearing the coffin of its owner, which was topped with striking red roses.
Peter Aldous, MP for Waveney, led the first reading of the day and said: “Not how did he die, but how did he live? Not what did he gain, but what did he give?
“Not how did the formal obituary run, but how many grieve when his life’s work was done?”
The reading struck a cord with all in the room, as his bustling work life and engagement with the community was warmly appreciated.
The Rev Ian Byrne detailed his attention to detail and unmatched commitment to his business, John Groom Butchers – which is the last independently owned butcher in the town.
Mr Groom also ran a successful catering company, John Groom Catering, with his wife Jayne.
A tribute led by Waveney District Council leader Mark Bee described Mr Groom as “ever generous” and the bearer of a “good heart”.
“He always wanted to help,” he added. “May you rest in peace – you so rightly deserve it.”
Mr Groom passed away suddenly on January 10, surrounded by his friends and family, at the age of 70.
He served Waveney as a ward councillor for Bungay since his first election in 2000. He was also a town councillor, the Town Reeve, and had been the mayor of Bungay on three separate occasions.
Mr Bee said in a time of political divide that “we need more people in this world like John Groom”.
The family have asked donations to be given to The Suffolk Horse Society in memory of Mr Groom.