Former EGCS President and Treasurer Graham Facks-Martin has died after a long battle with skin cancer, which has resulted in several operations in recent years, he when Treasurer suggested that EGCS funds should be moved from Goverment bonds to Stocks and Shares and doubled the amount of reserves that the Society now holds.
A dedicated breeder of Guernsey cows , he never lost sight of the need for high milk production and it was perhaps fitting that the 2014 joint winners of the cow family type competition “The North American trophy” should have been won by five descendants of Trethevy Exorchorda with an average score of 91.4 points.
Members may not know that he also worked tirelessly for the people of Launceston and North Cornwall in various public service roles and was awarded an MBE for these services . The Cornwall Guardian published the following obituary with comments from those who worked with him.
September 21 2015
Former North Cornwall Council Chairman and Launceston Councillor Graham Facks-Martin has died
By Cornish Guardian | Posted: September 17,
TRIBUTES have been paid to former North Cornwall District Council chairman Graham Facks-Martin, who has died aged 81 following a long battle with skin cancer.
Known for his expertise in housing, he was a founding member of the Cornwall Rural Housing association in 1985 and gained a M.Sc. in housing from the London School of Economics.
He was a North Cornwall District councillor for the entirety of the council’s existence before serving as a Launceston Town councillor after Cornwall became a unitary authority in 2009.
Cornwall Councillor Neil Burden, a long-time friend, said: “The Cornish people have lost a great servant, he was always concerned about people and trying to help them. We were on the council together for a very long time.
“I think that he was so dedicated to serving the people and his resilience to his illness was incredible. No-one knew how that man could cope, it was awful.”
Paul Masters, Cornwall Council’s director of communities and organisational development, had known Mr Facks-Martin since 1981.
“He was one of the few to read every single page of every single council document,” he said.
“He absolutely delighted in robust debate and loved people to give as good as he gave them and would be the first one to say he was wrong. He wasn’t one to dig himself into a whole and stay in it,” he said.
As a Conservative he was the first member of North Cornwall District Council affiliated to a political party but Mr Burden said his party did not define him.
“He was a Tory councillor and worked his socks off for the Tories every election but he just wanted to do what was best for the people,” said Mr Masters.
Launceston Mayor Brian Hogan said the town council were mourning the loss of a great public servant.
“Some words need to come from the head but this is one of the occasions when they need to come from the heart. Graham was a gentleman in the true sense of the word. He worked tirelessly for the benefit of other people. He never had a bad word to say about anyone,” he said.
“Graham was a kind generous man who commanded the respect of everyone that knew him. We all send our condolences to his friends and family.”
As well as his long career in politics, Mr Facks-Martin was also a dairy and cattle farmer for 50 years with a pedigree Guernsey herd.
Even after he was diagnosed with skin cancer he continued to throw himself into local politics, still serving on Launceston Town Council.
Mr Burden said: “He saved minutes of every council meeting, he used to read several newspapers every day. They stopped him driving so he would catch a bus to Liskeard or Plymouth and then get a train to get to County Hall.
“I remember he would have an operation in the morning and then come to a council meeting in the evening. He never complained, that was the kind of man he was.”