John Purling, a great supporter and fundraiser for R.A.B.I and a member of the Norfolk committee, died on April 28 at the age of 69.
In his 18-year career as former chief executive of the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association (RNAA) he implemented far-reaching changes and increased the profile of the Royal Norfolk Show. He retired from his role in 2012.
John joined R.A.B.I’s Norfolk committee in 2001 and threw himself into fundraising. He raised thousands of pounds using the RNAA’s showground as a venue and by helping with the annual cocktail party.
Sally Mitchell, secretary of the Norfolk committee, said: “John was a lovely man. He often appeared laid back, but he was always a driving force. He was extremely kind and generous with his time and always one of the first to offer his help.”
As a keen golfer, John enjoyed spending time on the course at Bawburgh. He organised annual golf days for R.A.B.I and this year’s event would have marked the competition’s 10th anniversary. The golf day, now postponed until September, will be a tribute to John. The best golfer will receive a Purling’s pin and trophy.
David Faulkner, a Norfolk committee member, said: “People would listen to John when he spoke and he was seen as a safe pair of hands. John worked tirelessly behind the scenes and in my opinion was a true gentleman. He will be missed by all of us on the committee.”