THE death of John Meikle has deprived Taunton of one of its most respected and influential residents.

In a life devoted to service to the community, John was a prominent member of Taunton Borough Council for more than 40 years, serving as mayor in 1967 and as leader of the council from 1974 to 1991.

During his years of service on the borough council, John was the instigator and overseer of many projects for the benefit of Taunton and its residents; the creation of Taunton Council for Voluntary Service, and the birth of the Brewhouse Theatre, to name but two.

This desire to be of service was carried forward in John's membership of Rotary International, whose motto is 'Service Above Self'.

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John was a member of the Rotary Club of Taunton for 60 years, having joined in January 1959, and serving as president in 1974/75.

His years in Rotary were marked by his enthusiastic involvement in projects which would benefit the wider community.

Of particular concern to John was the development and welfare of the youth of Taunton, to provide opportunities for personal development and the acquisition of skills for personal and community benefit.

It was, therefore, typical of John that, on his death, he should request that monies donated in his memory should be made to the Rotary Club of Taunton, for Rotary charities.

As Rotarians, it is our intention to honour John's wishes, and monies received in his memory will be used in our charitable work, which will include projects for the benefit of the youth of Taunton.

John will not be forgotten.

President of the Rotary Club of Taunton