Most members will know that Jack Chapman, our Chairman until April 2012,
died on 3 October. A separate notice added to the October Newsletter
promised this appreciation of his services to the Society and to the
wider community. It is based on a eulogy written and delivered by Mike
Cook at Jack's funeral on 15 October, together with information from
other friends and colleagues.
Jack was very much a Mancunian in many ways; his upbringing as a barber's
son in Collyhurst, a suburb two miles to the north of the city centre,
was in the 1930s very tough. He was selected for the great Manchester
Grammar School; that must have been a trauma, to travel across the city
some four miles to a giant of a school with well over a thousand pupils.
At 18 he was conscripted into the RAF and was trained as a radar
technician. He spent most of his service time in Ulster which even then was
hazardous. After his economics degree at the London School of Economics he
started teaching in Higher Education. He thought he was going to stay in
London so he and Ann bought half a house with a friend. It's interesting
that a new graduate in his early teaching career could afford to buy a
house in Highgate!
In late 1969 he was appointed Head of Liberal Studies at the then
Civic College. Later he became Head of the Department of General
and Pre-Vocational Education. This involved setting up courses for
Youth and Adult Training in co-operation with the Manpower Services
Commission. Further, he organised the Office of European Relationships at
the Civic College and was responsible for exchange programmes, particularly
with Czechoslovakia. He was also involved in trade union affairs, becoming
Chairman of the College branch of the National Association of Teachers
in Further Education,
He became a Magistrate on the Ipswich Bench in 1971 where he continued
for 32 years. In addition to regular Bench sittings he was elected on
to various committees and appropriately was responsible for the training
and continuing education of magistrates. Retirement from the college in
1992 gave Jack and Ann time for travel but this was soon cut short by
the tragic early death of Ann.
As Chairman of The Ipswich Society, Jack ensured that it should be
concerned with every aspect of the overall development of the town. He
formed good relationships with, but firmly independent of, the Borough
Council. He held close discussions with IBC's Chief Executives, James
Hehir and latterly Russell Williams, which were helpful to all. He was a
member, then Chair, of the Waterfront Steering Committee and Partnership
during the important years of the Waterfront's development.
Delegation was one of Jack's great skills. Not for nothing was he a
life-long Fabian, a society named after the Roman general renowned for
wearing out his opponents by small repeated attacks to victory. Thus one
could say that whilst Jack had no big works to his name his was a work
of gradualism to improve life for all. In that, he was successful in many
largely unsung respects.
P.S. Jack was very fond of the dock and the river. Even so it was a pleasant
surprise to learn that he had set aside money for friends and colleagues to
enjoy a river trip in his memory as far as Felixstowe docks on the Orwell
Lady. Organised by his son Daniel and daughter Kate. this took place on
9 November when some fifty people were entertained by a jazz band and
enjoyed excellent food and drinks and, of course, good conversation.