Don Swan 1934-2009

Don Swan, Greenwich councillor and activist, born 1934, died Good Friday April 2009.

Don Swan was born in Stepney in 1934 and lived in Stepney up until World War II broke out when the family moved to Humber Road in Greenwich. He went to school at Charlton Central School in 1945. Don joined the Labour Party in 1954 and as a Young Socialist he was also a Young Christian worker. As a Labour Party member he became a school governor serving on St. Joseph’s Academy, St. Austen’s Secondary, Rachel MacMillan Nursery, Blackheath Blue Coat Secondary. He also served as a governor of Goldsmith’s College and he chaired the Consultative Board which set up Christ the King College.

Don was elected to Greenwich Council in 1968 and he is remembered as a very good chair of Leisure Services. Don also steered the setting up the Careers Advice Service and the “Look at Work” campaign.

He served on ILEA for 4 years and he remembers that Jack Straw sat next to him at meetings and he recalled that the moment that gave him the most pleasure as an ILEA councillor was when the vote to abolish grammar schools was taken and won.

Don was elected Mayor of Greenwich in 1979-80 and left the Council in 1986.
Among Don’s many achievements was a certificate and medal presented to him by Pope John Paul II in recognition of his work in schools, of which he was proud.

Don leaves Mary, his wife, six children and eight grandchildren.