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‘He was a real force for good’ – tributes to Jan Kuttelwascher

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STATES member Jan Kuttelwascher, who died suddenly on Thursday, has been remembered for his good heartedness, humour, dedication and unflappable spirit.

Deputy Jan Kuttelwascher (26982910)

Dame Mary Perkins, the co-founder of Specsavers, led tributes to the 72-year-old former pilot, who was related to her through marriage.

‘Jan was a great family man, loving husband to Andrea, supportive father to Marika and Carl and a guiding grandfather to his four grandsons – also our grandsons.

‘His values in life have been passed on to them and to his granddaughter in England.

‘We will miss his humour and straightforward thinking. So proud to be co-in-laws with him.’

Peter Falla served with Deputy Kuttelwascher for two seasons on the St Peter Port douzaine and said he was very sad at his friend’s passing.

‘He was very much his own man, he thought through issues very carefully before speaking and he always used the right language despite his obvious passion for the runway extension and all things aeronautical.

‘He was very clever and committed and had a unique way and he applied his intellect and energy to politics.’

Speaking at an Institute of Directors event yesterday, the chairman of the local branch, John Clacy, said Mr Kuttelwascher would be greatly missed.

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‘I’d just like to reflect what a real sad loss Jan will be. He was a real force for good, a real energy in the House and he shared lots of the views of the IoD. So he will be a great loss.’

Speaking at the same event, former Chamber of Commerce president Martyn Dorey also paid tribute to Deputy Kuttelwascher.

‘He was a fantastic chap, a kind chap who gave his time to people. I remember him coming to our house when they were talking about the runway extension because we would be affected by that. And he was the only politician who actually came to our house and sat down with us to find out what the impact of having an airport light shining into our kitchen was.

He added: ‘The fact that he took the time to speak to us meant a lot to us as a family that someone actually cared about the impact on people. So sadly missed.’

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The island’s most senior politician, Deputy Gavin St Pier, said he was ‘shocked and saddened’ at the unexpected death and called his colleague ‘unflappable’.

Deputy Kuttelwascher was a determined campaigner for a longer runway at Guernsey Airport, in order to bring new routes, lower fares and a carrier like British Airways or Easyjet to the island.

Last November his doggedness paid off with a remarkable victory when States members voted by 20-19 in favour of his requete asking for an investigation into a runway extension.

Right up until to his death he was holding politicians to account. In the January States debate he was asking questions about Condor, shared some robust views on Brexit, and got other States members sitting up in their seats with an innovative idea on taxes.

Flags were flying at half mast on States buildings and the court yesterday to honour Deputy Kuttelwascher.

Helen Bowditch

By Helen Bowditch
News reporter

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