Special memorial for Kilburn's Tayo Oladapo after fundraising success for a headstone
PUBLISHED: 14:27 04 April 2019 | UPDATED: 14:54 04 April 2019
Grieving colleagues turned out to see an “inspirational” and much loved Kilburn councillor finally given the memorial he deserved – thanks to a three-year campaign.
Temitayo “Tayo” Oladapo was elected to represent Kilburn in 2010 and 2014, but sadly died on January 29, 2016, following complications with sickle cell disease.
Following his funeral in June 2016, the 34-year-old was buried in the Paddington Old Cemetery – but there was nothing to mark his grave.
It spurred a huge fundraising drive by Harlesden’s Sickle Cell Society who, with donations from neighbours and Co-Op Funeral Care, raised £1,834.25 to pay for a headstone.
The memorial service on Saturday at The Sacred Heart of Jesus in Quex Road was followed by moving eulogies at his graveside.
Ex-Kilburn councillor Mary Arnold said: “It was a lovely day and the event in the church had a good feeling about it.
“Tayo had a strong presence in the community. Gathering around his headstone, people from Kilburn and the deputy mayor spoke emotionally about losing the young councillor while still in public service.”
Tayo was remembered for his work supporting young people, his fight against knife crime and revitalising Kilburn High Road.
Ms Arnold added: “Above all, Tayo is remembered for his feelgood promise to do his best, for his many achievements and for the hope he brought as a local politician.”
Cllr Ernest Ezeajughi, deputy mayor of Brent Council, said: “I still miss Tayo. I met him when I was elected in 2014. We had a strong relationship as we both came from Nigeria.
“We supported each other in the council and I also supported him when he was in hospital.”
Tayo served diligently as a councillor on committees and elsewhere in the council.
John James OBE, chief exec of the Sickle Cell Society, added: “Tayo Oladapo was an inspirational example of someone holding public office and living with sickle cell.
“We are pleased to have been able to support his family in raising the funds for his headstone and are deeply grateful for everyone who supported this fundraiser.
“We hope this fundraiser has helped commemorate Tayo’s life, and helps inspire other people living with sickle cell.”