‘He was astute, warm and a man of vision’

By Flora Thompson

‘He was astute, warm and a man of vision’

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A PLAQUE has been unveiled to honour a long-serving councillor, housing reformer and political mentor.

Friends gathered yesterday in memory of Tehmtan Framroze who died in January, aged 75.

The ceremony took place at the Black and Minority Ethnic Community Partnership (BMECP) centre in Fleet Street, Brighton, where candles were lit and a room in the building was named after him.

Mr Framroze moved from his native Zanzibar in 1964 and worked at the University of Sussex library where he met his wife Marian.

He is remembered as a staunch campaigner for libraries, a force for housing reform and a chairman of the housing committee at one stage.

A block of flats in Hollingdean – Framroze Court – was even named after him.

He was also part of a film viewing working party that famously banned the film 9½ Weeks from public cinemas in Brighton.

He served as the mayor from 1994 to 1995, made an honourary alderman of Brighton and Hove in 2007 and a life president of the BMECP.

The city’s current mayor, Pete West, who helped to unveil the plaque with community group chairman Michael Opone and Mr Framroze’s wife, said it was a “sad but happy occasion”.

He remembered Mr Framroze as a mentor for a new generation of councillors and someone who was particularly devoted to working to improve the standards of private housing in the city.

He said: “I’m proud to follow in his footsteps as mayor.

“His positive attitude and warm smile always had a way of bringing communities together.”

Mrs Framroze said: “I have been very moved by this gathering.

“He held BMECP very close to his heart.”

Mr Opone called Mr Framroze a “beloved leader” who was “pragmatic, astute, quick witted, a man of vision and initiative.”

He said: “BMECP owes Tehm a great debt of gratitude.

“His persuasive skills and shrewdness made it possible for the BME communities to have a community centre.”

When news of Mr Framroze’s death emerged scores of friends and colleagues paid tribute.

Council leader Warren Morgan said: “The city owes him a great debt of thanks for his contribution to public life.”

Former Hove MP Ivor Caplin, who served as a councillor alongside Mr Framroze, described him as a “a tower of strength in the formative years of the new council”.