Former Moyles Court School chair of governors and Citizens Advice Bureau volunteer Mike Jones dies aged 90.
A former chair of the governors of Ringwood’s Moyles Court School and volunteer for Lymington’s Citizens Advice Bureau who worked for Esso for over 40 years has died at the age of 90.
Mike Jones joined the oil company in Fawley in his 20s and worked for them all his life until he retired in 1998.
He then took up volunteering while also continuing to work as an advisor for the decommissioning of nuclear fuel plants for company Magnox Ltd.
Born in Nottingham to Hugh and Mary Jones in April 1933, Mike’s early life was spent in Rangoon – now Yangon – as his father was an officer in the Merchant Navy. His mother had been working as a nurse for the British Army when the couple met in Burma – now Myanmar.
When The Second World War broke out, the family had to leave the country and travel by ship to Australia where they lived for many years. Mike was educated at Wesley College in Perth where he excelled in sport, leading to a life-long passion for rugby union.
He left Australia for the UK aged 15 where he went to the Henry Mellish Grammar School in Nottingham. He was later joined by his mother, his parents having separated, and brother Philip.
Finding a love for science, Mike went to Imperial College London to study for a degree in chemical engineering. Afterward, he undertook two years’ national service where he represented the RAF in rugby.
He then joined Esso, rising quickly through the ranks to a senior leadership role only leaving the company to retire at the age of 65.
Former colleagues at the company described him as their hero who showed great leadership with a “human and compassionate touch”.
It was at Esso Fawley that Mike met Liz who worked in the secretarial pool. The couple shared a love of amateur dramatics, and Liz also enjoyed watching Mike play for Esso Rugby Club. He was captain of their first team for many years, and eventually became their president.
He married Liz in March 1962 at All Saints Church, which was near the plant, and celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary last year.
Their daughter Sarah was born on Christmas Day 1963 and was followed by two more daughters, Ali and Kate, and then son David
The family home was in Holbury but they moved to Sussex after Mike was promoted to work for Esso in London.
He returned to work as manager of the Fawley plant, the family living in Everton, before eventually moving to Milford where Mike and Liz spent a very happy 50 years.
When not working, Mike enjoyed walking and cycling trips with Liz, and also went on trekking holidays in Peru and Nepal. They also enjoyed going to the theatre to watch musicals and opera, often spending time at the RAF club in London, of which he was a member.
Mike was also a keen gardener and won many trophies at the annual Milford produce show. He was a talented painter and produced, according to his family, “many beautiful handmade cards which were especially prized by his nine grandchildren”.
His family said Mike would be “sorely missed by all his family and friends”.
“He loved living by the sea and is buried in Milford where he now rests in peace,” they added.
Mike’s mother Mary is also buried in the same graveyard.