A fundraising page has been launched and a special gig will take place this weekend in a bid to pay for the funeral of former Ramsgate shop owner Gerald Griffin.
Gerald – best known as Jez- passed away at the Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital in Margate on Sunday 5th November due to heart complications.
The music and football fan, who was in his mid-70s, moved from London to Ramsgate as a child with his parents and two older brothers.
The family ran an upholstery shop in Queen Street for many years, first with dad George at the helm and in later years run by Jez following the loss of both parents and then his brothers.
Jez was a football fan, supporting Arsenal and also playing for the Hotel De Ville pub team which he later became manager for.
He was a big music fan following many bands including Thanet’s EK1.
Denny Barter, from EK1, was a long-time friend of Jez and is one of those heading up the funeral fundraiser.
He said: “I’ve known Jez for many years, he was a real local character as were his brothers.
“His father, George, opened an upholstery shop in Queen Street and it was very successful. One by one Jez’s family passed away and that left Jez running it on his own until he semi-retired and just did private jobs.
“He loved his music and used to follow us -EK1. He liked Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett and we went to see Tony Bennett at the Albert Hall.
“Jez was an upbeat guy, always laughing and joking and never complaining. He loved a sing song, he was always helpful and loyal – he was old school. Everyone who talks about him never has a bad word to say.
“He worked very hard all his life but he finished up with nothing which is why we are fundraising. He has no living relatives.”
Go to the gig
A fundraising gig will be played by EK1 at the Hotel de Ville in Grange Road, Ramsgate, this Sunday (November 19) from 3pm to 5pm. A collection will be made towards the fund.
Visit the fundraising page
The fundraising page has a target of £3,000 and half has already been raised in just three days.
Denny said: “People from all over the world, and locally, have donated. The response has been phenomenal, and we (his friends) just want to say thank you to everyone who has donated.”