Tributes for Dursley man Charles Jukes who brought sight to thousands

Charles Jukes

Charles Jukes

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A TIRELESS fundraiser and passionate volunteer from Dursley who was named in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list has died.

Charles Jukes MBE, of Dursley Road, was awarded an MBE for his services to the community and the staggering amount of charity work he had done during his life.

Mr Jukes died peacefully at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital on July 26 aged 90.

He spent 27 years volunteering at the Dursley Open Door Club as its fundraising officer for the those with learning or physical disabilities as well as raising thousands of pounds for the Rotary Cornea and Tissue bank in Bristol, which pioneered treatment giving people their sight back.

Mr Jukes spoke to the Gazette after receiving his Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) four years ago, saying he only achieved the award thanks to the help of friends and family.

"When I opened the envelope from the cabinet office I was first astounded and then very humble," he said.

“’Why me?' I asked, why not my wife who does so much good in the world?"

As an officer at the district Rotary Club, he got involved in the Corneal Transplant Service, acting as publicity officer for the treatment.

Thanks to his work, the service went from performing around 50 operations a year to over 1,000 and now 2,000 people a year are given their vision back thanks to the unit in Bristol.

The former customs and excise officer also helped raise money for equipment at the unit and setting up a support group for people undergoing the operation to put their mind at ease before having the treatment.

Mr Jukes enlisted in the Royal Air Force as a wireless operator during World War Two and would serve in Greece, Africa, Italy and Sicily among others.

On his return home he would marry Jean in Synwell, Wotton –under-Edge and would be happily married for 68 years.

“He loved getting involved in charity work, he liked his music and operas and things like that,” she said.

“He was very well known because of it all.”

He has two daughters Angela and Carole, five grandchildren and nine great grand children.

Granddaughter Zoe Taylor, owner of TaylorMade uniforms, said he was a “true gentleman” that always put others before him.

“He will be missed from my life and everything that he did for others,” she said.

“I will miss him terribly and I think many others in Dursley will too.”

A service of thanksgiving is being held at Dursley Tabernacle United Reform Church on Friday, August 8 at 2.30pm.

If desired, donations in memory of Mr Jukes can be made to the Natural Environment Research Council. Cheques can be sent and made payable to L W Clutterbuck Ltd, Funeral Directors, 24 - 26 High Street, Cam, Glos. GL11 5LE.

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