Councillor who died in Scottish diving trip ‘accomplished more in a year than most do in four’

A HUNTINGDON town councillor ‘accomplished more in a year than most do in four’.

John Skerry, 54, was due to have married Marion Nightingale this Saturday.

But the councillor for East Ward died during a dive at a Second World War wreck off the Scottish coast.

Mr Skerry, of Nursery Road, was visiting the Oban area with a group of nine other divers from the St Ives Sub-Aqua Club.

He had successfully dived around SS Breda, in Ardmucknish Bay, on Tuesday last week but lost contact with his friends as they resurfaced.

The party raised the alarm and a search of the wreck was carried out, involving Strathclyde police divers, two dive boats, the Oban lifeboat, a Royal Navy helicopter, two research vessels and a yacht.

Mr Skerry’s body was found last Thursday after a two-day search.

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He owned VJ Skerry Electrical and Data Engineering Services, High Street, Huntingdon, and was elected a town councillor last year.

He was chairman of the finance committee and responsible for overseeing the renovation of Huntingdon Town Hall, which reopened in March.

Huntingdon’s new mayor, Councillor Colin Hyams, said he would like to see part of the town hall named in memory of Mr Skerry.

“He was a councillor for only a year, but achieved more in that year than many achieve in four,” Cllr Hyams told The Hunts Post.

“He looked after the town council’s money as if it were his own.

“At least before this tragedy he had the pleasure of seeing his work on the town hall completed.”

Fellow town councillor Bill Hensley said: “It’s dreadful news – everyone is gutted.

“He was one of the nicest guys I knew. He was a real grafter and pushed the town hall renovation through and under budget.

“First and foremost for him was saving the taxpayers money.”

Friend and fellow councillor Sid Akthar said: “This was really exciting time for him with his wedding and the diving trip with the St Ives diving club.

“What has happened is extremely tragic and it has really shocked me.

“He was a very genuine and sincere person and would always have time to stop and chat with anybody. He was just a very nice person.”

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