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Joan Mapperley 1936 – 2017

Joan was Clerk to Overstrand Parish Council for many years. It is a position
that requires a wide-range of skills, which she had in abundance. She loved
her work and was good at it because she had a gift, not given to everyone –
the gift of empathy, which enabled people to trust her with their problems,
knowing they would be dealt with in confidence. She was a people person in
every sense of that phrase.

Joan also loved Overstrand and worked with dedication to serve the village
and everyone fortunate enough to live here. One can recall so many
examples of her hard work, diligence and initiative. Things that might seem
rather minor or mundane like a broken footway lamp or an overflowing litter
bin, week in, week out, she made sure these things were attended to.

Her duties were very various. As Council’s financial officer, she was
responsible for all the monies of the Parish Council and the accounts were
kept impeccably. She advised the councillors on procedure, wrote letters and
minutes with admirable clarity and routine efficiency. She put her talent for
writing to persuasive use in several lottery grant applications she wrote for
village projects, each of which were successful, such as the one for Tim
Bennett’s book on Overstrand men during the 1914-18 war. She also
organised celebrations, on behalf of the Parish Council including the annual
fireworks display and the was the steer behind the Queen’s Jubilee festivities
in 2010 and 2012.

All these things, large and small, Joan did for the village. One event, though,
revealed Joan’s capacities and dedication, in particular. In 2003, central
government produced a draft of the Shoreline Management Plan, which came
as a bombshell. Joan realised immediately that if it should ever pass into
legislation, Overstrand would most probably be lost to coastal erosion. She
alerted the council and was instrumental in setting up a working party of
councillors and residents, which worked round the clock to produce a report
refuting the proposals. It was a remarkable document, which revealed the
flaws in the plan on both scientific and economic grounds. It did a great deal
to undermine the government’s case. Joan typically tried her best to avoid the
accolades, which were her due. Surely if anything needs organising in
heaven, Joan will be called upon.

Mary Haynes and Eric Vickers – Former Chairmen Overstrand Parish Council

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