Tributes to port and charity stalwart

TRIBUTES have today been paid to a leading figure in the Felixstowe port community who died suddenly at the weekend.

TRIBUTES have today been paid to a leading figure in the Felixstowe port community who died suddenly at the weekend.

Charles Wilkinson, 51, was chief executive of MCP plc, a pioneer in the computer processing of cargo movements.

He was appointed to the post in 1990, having previously become the firm's general manager following a long career in the shipping industry.

Chris Lewis, chief executive at Hutchison Ports (UK) Ltd, which owns the Port of Felixstowe, said: “I was both saddened and shocked to hear that Charles had passed away. Our thoughts and condolences at this time are with his wife Donna and their two children, along with his family and friends.

“Charles was very well known and highly thought of in the community.

“Through the development of the pioneering Felixstowe Cargo Processing System and now Destin8 , he played a major part in helping to make the Port of Felixstowe the industry leader that it is today. He will be greatly missed.”

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Alongside his role at MCP, Mr Wilkinson was involved in the Felixstowe Port Users Association for more than 20 years, holding positions including category representative, vice chairman and chairman. He was also well known in the wider community for his support of a variety of causes.

It is believed he died of a heart-related medical problem.

Paul Brigginshaw, chairman of MCP, said: “Charles became involved with various charities over the years, having held the position of chairman of the Local Riding for Disabled Association and more recently he became patron of St Felix Home for the Blind and a board member for the Princes Trust.

“Charles was also a very keen golfer and enjoyed other sports such as shooting. It goes without saying that he will be dearly missed by all of those who knew him.”

Gina Dawson, chairman of the Prince's Trust's Suffolk fundraising board, said: “The void that will be left by Charles' death is huge. So many of us who enjoyed the pleasure of his company will miss his extraordinary wit and good humour, the way he held the room and made business meetings such fun.”

Besides his widow, Donna, who runs the Fludyer Arms Hotel in Undercliff Road East, Felixstowe, Mr Wilkinson is survived by his two children, Charlie and Jenna.

N Would you like to pay tribute to Mr Wilkinson? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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