I arrived back in West Bay, just as an ambulance appeared. on a 999 call to a middle-aged man who had collapsed at the road entrance to the promenade. He was very grey and the ambulance crew immediately started a full cardiac recovery protocol. My educated guess, is that he had been in arrest for at least ten minutes without intervention. A second ambulance arrived just as I left and I can only hope for him and his family that the two paramedics battling to save him, were successful.
I wanted to say a few words about the sudden death of former Conservative Councillor, Ewen Cameron last week and perhaps this is a good time.
Ewen, became a councillor for the Bradstowe ward at the same time as I entered district politics. As he lived in Westgate at the old St Peter's church guest house, I knew him and his wife Valerie quite well.
An economist by profession, Ewen was kind, frequently a little eccentric and in my opinion, among the brightest of all our Thanet councillors. When the recession struck in 2008, Ewen lost his job and this had a disastrous effect on him. Like many before him and I'm sure many more after, he found refuge in a glass of wine, which over time became several and then a bottle and more.
This is not the place to explore the history of Ewen's problems and his subsequent conviction and imprisonment for drink driving. As with all of us in public life, the courts expect us to set an example and quite rightly, deal with us harshly when we don't.
Prison was not the place for a gentle character like Ewen Cameron. He was assaulted, victimised, extorted and bullied and left Her Majesty's pleasure in a far more fragile state of health and mind than he entered.
I was shocked last week to hear of his sudden death and I'm still not in full possession of the details. I did notice searches rippling across this weblog and this alerted me to something unusual.
Regardless of our politics and differences locally, I would hope that we can remember Ewen for what he was before alcohol-dependence poisoned his life and wrecked his career. A kind and gentle man, a councillor who was always prepared to help others less fortunate than himself and who never had an unkind word to say of anyone.
His funeral is on the 28th February with a service at 2:40 at the Barham crematorium.