The Prescotian Webzine

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My brother John F Whiffen died tragically in South Africa in March this year. He was in the 1966 intake at Prescot Grammar. If any of your readers have a photo that John was in I would be grateful if they would allow me to pay for a copy if it.

You will be happy to know that John remained the "good lad" that Ken knew (in your obituary page) As well as being a director in the masonary company he worked for, he was a great public speaker and belonged to the toast masters association.

He was heavily involved in charity work in Johannasberg where he had lived for 20 years. He did voluntary work for the black townships and was a honory adviser to the organization improving black housing conditions. He was also the patron for a disabled charity that helped disable people to communicate better with the wider community. Only after his death did we find out that he paid the fees for many of these disabled people to join the toast masters association.

John did not have any children of his own, so he adopted a children's home. Every Christmas he was "santa" to the children and would turn up in his father christmas costume with a sack full of presents for the children that he had either begged from friends or bought himself.

As you can see John was not only loved by his family and friends but by everyone who knew him. I could not attend his funeral, but I am told that it was so full that people sat in the walkway. \par \par I saw him last 12 months ago when he came home for christmas. I did not know that hug on the steps of Limestreet Station would be our last. I will treasure that memory and all the lovely memories I have of a wonderful brother.

Thank you, Shirley Muat [E-Mail]


I can't see any postings on this, and it gives me no pleasure to be the bearer of yet more bad news. I heard yesterday that John Whiffen has been killed in a tragic accident in South Africa. John was a late entrant to the '1966' group. I hadn't spoken to him for years but we used to play football regularly in the seventies. [John Dean]

I've known John since the early 60s when we used, as children, to play football, cricket, hide 'n seek etc on the 'Pig field' or 'Piggy' in Roby. John was always 'a good lad', meaning he was trustworthy and always reliable. I last saw John in about 1998 when I was visiting Roby cemetery, not 100 yards from John's old home on station road, to put flowers on my mum's grave. John was nearby, doing the same for a relative of his. We shook hands and talked for a while; asked about mutual friends. I asked about his sisters, Glenys and Janice and then we went our ways. We probably agreed to 'keep in touch . . . God Bless, John [Ken Holt]

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