Yesterday I found out that Ron Ravenhall, long time councillor from Knightlow and Dunchurch, passed away on Friday. I never met the man face to face, although I did see him in a few council meetings earlier in the year. He came across as knowledgeable and tenacious, and by all accounts was a dedicated local councillor as well as being closely devoted to his family.
He was born in the Netherlands, and his family were caught up in the Second World War when the Germans invaded during 1940. His father was held by the Germans, and his mother sheltered a Jewish man from the Nazis (for which she was later named as one of the ‘Righteous Among Nations’ by Yad Yashem, the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Jerusalem). Ron came to the UK after the war, aged 12, and after National Service went to Oxford. Following university, he became a teacher based in Rugby.
He had two stints on Rugby Borough Council. The first, from 1976 to 1987 saw him standing as a Conservative. In 1985 he defected to the Liberals and did not seek re-election at the end of his term. In 1999 he returned as a Liberal Democrat, and held a seat for the last 10 years.
During his time on the council, he was perhaps best known for his stand against developments, particularly concerning proposals for a new airport between Coventry and Rugby, expansion of the existing Coventry Airport at Baginton and large scale housing development around the borough. He was clearly forthright, although on one occasion he did overstep the mark with his rhetoric. Certainly dedicated to his cause, I’m sure he will be missed by his constituents.
My thoughts are with his family in their time of loss.