Campaigning Sussex councillor steps down from charity chairmanship

Roger Thomas
Roger Thomas

A true Sussex ‘stalwart’ whose career has spanned being arrested by Idi Amin, presenting a TV programme from while the IRA bombed sites in Birmingham and broadcasting from the Seoul Olympics has retired from a long-serving charity role.

Keen campaigner Roger Thomas from Ghyll Road is a Wealden District and Heathfield Parish councillor who has also chaired East Sussex County Council.

He is stepping down from chairmanship of the East Sussex Association of Blind and Partially Sighted People, (ESAB) a charity he served for 20 years.

He said: “At the age of 78 I feel it is sensible to step down. This is the perfect time as I was honoured to accept the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service 2019 on behalf of the charity on July 27.”

Roger has sight problems; an artificial left eye and now problems with his ‘good’ eye. He went on: “I was blind in that eye from the age of four. I played rugby wearing a patch - the only blind side wing forward in East Africa! I received an artificial eye at 25 when I was teaching children with learning difficulties in Cardiff.”

He was BBC trained and still enjoys speaking to groups about his intriguing life. He refused to back Amin on TV after discovering he was funded by Gadaffi who supported the terrorists responsible for murdering Israelis at the 1972 Olympics. No stranger to drama, Roger continued to host his phone-in programme in Birmingham as the city was targeted by the IRA and he was commended for his commentaries on the 1988 Seoul Olympics.