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Former Winchester council leader dies in France
11:17am Monday 2nd September 2013 in News
RODNEY Sabine, former leader of Winchester City Council has died suddenly, aged 66.
Mr Sabine lived in Alresford from 1994 to 2003 and was a tireless campaigner for the Liberal Democrats.
He was chairman of the local party for Mark Oaten’s two-vote election General Election win in 1997 and the successful by-election, which was won by 20,000.
He then ran Mr Oaten’s successful re-election campaign in 2001.
Mr Sabine was a city councillor for Alresford from 1990-2002, chairman of the planning committee from 1996-2001 and council leader 2001-2002 before losing his seat.
A former headteacher and education consultant, he moved to La Souterraine in France in 2003, a bustling town similar in size to Alresford, where he founded the English Library.
An excellent French speaker, he became immersed in French life, and even dabbled in local politics, standing unsuccessfully for the local Commune.
A lifelong steam train fanatic, Rodney formed the North East Creuse Railway Group in France, travelling extensively on the network, while campaigning against SNCF cuts.
Mr Sabine died in hospital and will be buried in France.
He leaves a sister Tina, daughter Anna, son James, two grandchildren and his French fiancée Christel, whom he planned to marry this month in a ceremony to be carried out by the Mayor of La Souterraine, with the whole town invited to the reception.
A memorial service will be held in the UK in October.
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