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Death Of Former Lord Mayor

Cllr Bill McKernan, Coventry City CouncilCoventry City Council leader Nick Nolan today led tributes to one of the longest serving councillors, former Lord Mayor Bill McKernan who has died at the age of 81.

Cllr McKernan died peacefully, with his family at his bedside, on Saturday morning, after a long period of ill health. He was member for Radford, a ward he represented for the Labour party.

Council leader Nick Nolan said:

"I have been very saddened to hear of Bill's death. He was a dedicated councillor - dedicated to the people of this city and their welfare. Bill served Coventry for many years and maintained an energy and determination that would shame younger men.

"It is hard to think that we shall see many more who are prepared to devote so many years to the service of this city. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this sad time."


Cllr McKernan was a proud Scot, born in Rutherglen in 1919. He came to Coventry in 1934.

He joined the Army in 1940 and saw service in India, Assam and Burma before returning to civilian life in 1946.

His commitment to the welfare of ex-servicemen and their families remained throughout his life and Cllr McKernan was actively involved in the work of the British Legion.

He worked for Alvis Ltd as a skilled fitter and was later a shop steward in the Fighting Vehicle Department. He was a member of the Coventry 56th branch of AUEW.

Bill McKernan joined the Labour Party in 1947 and gained his first seat on Coventry City Council in 1961 representing the Radford ward where he continued to serve during his forty years on the council.

He served on a wide variety of committees in the previous council structure, including planning, personnel and administration, city development and property management, and civic and general purposes.

Over the past twenty years he also chaired the city's Remembrance Day Committee.

His wife Betty died in 1974. He served the city as Lord Mayor in 1985 - 86, with his daughter in law Ann McKernan acting as Lady Mayoress.

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CWN / Politics / Coventry City Council / 23 Jul 01
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