Tributes paid to former Haverhill solicitor, Round Table and 41 Association stalwart and charity worker, Paul Cammiss
A well-known former solicitor and tireless supporter of good causes, described by his former business partner as ‘Mr Haverhill’, is being mourned after his sudden death.
Paul Cammiss, who worked in Haverhill as a solicitor for more than 40 years and had almost five decades of involvement with the town’s Round Table and 41 Club, has died at the age of 69.
He was also heavily involved for many years with the Freemasons, the Parochial Church Council at St Mary’s Church, Haverhill, where he was treasurer, and was Father Christmas on the Round Table’s Santa Sleigh that for 26 years has toured Haverhill and surrounding villages every December to raise money for charity.
Paul died on February 15 at Addenbrooke’s Hospital from injuries suffered in a fall while gardening at his Wratting Road home and is survived by his widow Lin, whom he married in July, 1973, daughters, Justine, 39, and Gemma, 35, and three grandchildren.
Many would have known Paul through his career at Adams Harrison Solicitors, where he had been a founding partner since 1989, until retiring in April 2014, although he then continued as a consultant with the firm until fully retiring last April.
Prior to 1989, he had been a partner at Adams and Land, in Haverhill, for 16 years until its merger with Harrison & Co, which led to a 25-year working relationship, and friendship, with Tom Harrison.
Mr Harrison said of Paul, who moved to Haverhill from Ripon at the age of two: “He was Mr Haverhill in many ways.
“He was one of the last great all-rounders. The law has become a bit like medicine really, with people specialising these days.
“You very rarely get solicitors dealing with all your affairs, but Paul did.
“He could be in the magistrates’ court one minute and drawing up your will the next or conveyancing a house. He did everything.
“He was the longest-serving duty solicitor of the area, in Suffolk and Essex.
“He did that right up until last April because even though he retired in 2014 he carried on working as a consultant for us until last April and he was still getting up in the middle of the night and going to police stations and that’s a young man’s game, but he loved that kind of work.
“A lot of these things that involved voluntary public service, the Round Table and the Lodges, the church, well these were contributions that Paul made to his local community voluntarily and that’s how he was.”
Paul had been a member of the Haverhill Round Table, and later the 41 Club, since 1972.
Over the years he was its secretary, treasurer, chairman, area sales officer and area press officer and he was elected the national secretary in 1989/90.
After leaving the Round Table under its age rule (once you passed 40), he moved to the 41 Club, where he went on to become the national president and the national honorary solicitor of the 41 Association.
His friend of more than 40 years and fellow Tabler, Ian Mackenzie, said of Paul: “He was a fantastic Father Christmas (for the 41 Club/Round Table).
"He loved doing that job. It’s something we’ve been running for 26 years and Paul had an active involvement in that over all of those years.
“It’s staggering what he did and not just in terms of years, but his active involvement in many many different things. A huge amount of people will miss him. A huge amount of people will respect him for the service that he’s given to many organisations.
“I’ve seen some wonderful photos of him with the grandchildren that had been taken over the last couple of years and that’s the one thing that gave him the most pleasure.”
Paul’s funeral service will take place at St Mary’s Church, at 12.30pm on Tuesday, March 19, followed by a burial at Haverhill Cemetery.