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One of Marlow's Regatta saviours dies
ONE of the men who helped revive Marlow's regatta has died, aged 86.
Tributes have been paid to John Fontannaz, an ex-councillor, and author of a book about Marlow's Causeway statute.
Mr Fontannaz, who was actively involved in various causes in the town, passed away after a battle with illness on Saturday.
The Marlow Society member worked with former Mayor Jim Campbell to create the Marlow Town Regatta in 2001 after the traditional event moved to Dorney Lake.
Mr Campbell also died last year.
He played an instrumental role in the regatta committee.
Caroline Goulden, Mr Fontannaz's daughter, said: "John Fontannaz was a big personality with strong views, but he didn't let the grass grow under his feet and was very good at getting things done.
"He was a great supporter of Marlow which he loved and considered it to be the centre of the universe.
"He always said how lucky he was to live here."
Mr Fontannaz moved to Marlow in 1969. Once he retired he was elected to Wycombe District Council.
Mr Fontannaz, who also leaves a son, Nick, and two grandchildren, wrote a book about 'Marlow's pocket venus' - the statue on the Causeway.
He was also involved with the Millenium Maze in Higginson Park and helped raise funds to restore the spotted boy painting in All Saints Church.
Mr Fontannaz was actively involved in the twinning of Marlow with Budapest and took great interest in the suspension bridges they shared.
He was a member of the Causeway Club, The Marlow Society, President of the Thames Traditional Boat Society.
Mr Fontannaz, whose wife died about nine years ago, was a company director, dealing with commodities during his career, which he began in London.
He later set up his own company, Fontannaz partners, in Station Road, Marlow, before it moved to Slough.
His daughter said he was also one of just three members of the Marlow Matterhorn Club, having climbed the mountain in the Pennine Alps on the border between Switzerland and Italy.
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