Tributes Paid After Death Of Gurkha Councillor

Gam Gurung dies at the age of 53

Tributes have been paid to Councillor Gam Gurung, a former  Gurkha soldier, who has died at the age of 53.

Labour Councillor Gurung represented Colliers Wood and was the first Gurkha member of Merton Council.

He was instrumental in the visit to Merton of Nepalese Ambassador Dr Suresh C Chalise, and was a champion of the rights of the Gurkhas.

Mr Gurung (right), who had been suffering from cancer, leaves a wife and four children.

Council leader Stephen Alambritis said: "The news of Gam's death is very sad for all who knew and worked with him.  He was a kind man who chose a life of public service, representing the residents of Colliers Wood following election in 2010.

"In his three years on Merton Council, he showed dedication, commitment and loyalty, and won many friends in the community, as well as in our group.  Our thoughts and prayers are with his lovely family and friends. He was a very kind and courageous man, and will be sorely missed by all."

Councillor Oonagh Moulton, leader of Merton Conservatives, said: "On behalf of myself and all my colleagues within the Merton Conservative Group, I would like to send my deepest sympathy to the family, friends and Labour Party colleagues of Councillor Gam Gurung.  I was shocked and saddened to hear the news of Councillor Gurung's passing.

"Gam was someone who was rightly proud of his heritage and was always identifiable by his Gurkha Terai Hat at special events. He will be remembered with great affection by colleagues from across the chamber."

Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, Councillor Iain Dysart, said: "He was a very lovely man, equally passionate in advocating for his community as with building bridges with and between all communities. He will be sorely mourned and missed."

Leader of the Merton Park Independents, Councillor Peter Southgate said: "In his quiet way, Gam was an extraordinary man who achieved much for the Gurkha community in Merton, as well as the residents of Colliers Wood. We will all miss him."

Leader of the Merton Coalition, Councillor Suzanne Evans said: "The Merton Coalition was shocked to hear of the death of Gam Gurung. All councillors who worked with him will miss his quiet determination to do his best for his residents, as well as his sense of humour - he did amuse us with the odd good joke in the council chamber. Councillor Chris Edge has particularly fond memories of him as he presided over his wife's UK Citizenship ceremony when Deputy Mayor, and we all offer our sincere condolences to his family."

June 28, 2013