Thomas Lawler, former Mayor of Calderdale, dies aged 85

Thomas Lawler
Thomas Lawler

Former Labour Coun Thomas Lawler who was Mayor of Calderdale in 1985/1986 has died aged 85.

He lived at Illingworth, Halifax, and worked on behalf of the community for many years.

Aged 15 he was running a local scout group as older teenagers were called up for military service. He later did voluntary work with the Catholic charity St Vincent de Paul Society.

Mr Lawler was active in the Labour Party and before being elected to Calderdale Council in 1979 for the Ovenden ward, he served on the former West Yorkshire County Council and Halifax Borough Council.

He stood down from Calderdale Council in 1995.

His interests included social services, housing, leisure and property committees. He also served on the Calderdale Health Authority.

He was also a former vice-chairman of the Halifax Catholic Memorial Club and worked as a plumber and baker.

Mr Lawler leaves his wife Mary, who was mayoress, and seven children, Peter, Patricia, Frances, Catherine, Angela, Gabrielle and Caroline.

Peter said his father was first and foremost a family man.

“He thought a lot about his family and that was key. And that extended into his political life. He wanted to do good for the wider community.”

Mr Lawler died on Tuesday after returning from a family visit to Cardiff.

His funeral is on Friday (March 1) at St Malachy’s Church, Ovenden, at 11 am followed by interment at Stoney Royd Cemetery.