Bernie Ellis

Feb 23, 2016

Councillor C Bernard Ellis
November 1943 – February 2016

With his farming background Bernie knew that good soil and strong roots are the sound foundation for future growth and sustainability. He was a local boy, born at Trebarras to Grace and John Ellis of Pensipple, the eldest of brothers David and Jonathan.

He attended Trewidland School, first as a pupil, then as Chair of Governors, which exemplifies how Bernie always gave something back – although sometimes that could be a retort! Liskeard Grammar was followed by Bethany School, Goudhurst, Kent, then Camborne School of Metalliferous Mining. As a surveyor he travelled far and wide, taking in gold mines in South Africa, Finland, Canada and back to tin mining at Wheal Jane. In 1977 he came home to Pensipple to milk the cows, and there he stayed.

Bernie was a great loss to the legal profession.  He turned his knowledge and aptitude for the law to very good use for Caradon and then for Cornwall Council. He bombarded officers and councillors with the latest planning case law, and he was especially interested in rights to personal liberty; he was a lifelong learner. He was in his absolute element when brandishing a copy of the Tamar Bridge Act. He thought the toll should be abolished and he abhorred the raising of the toll (illegally, he argued) by introducing a charge for the ‘Tags’.

Bernie was a man of the people and with Menheniot Parish Council, Caradon District Council and Cornwall Council, he could put his able intellect to good use. He was particularly knowledgeable about the law, town planning and Cornwall and was a vociferous champion of his electorate.  He had a mischievous sense of humour, fortunate in meetings, often seeing the funny side of things yet was respected by people from all backgrounds.

But more than that, Bernie was a family man, and along with Barbara and son Christopher and daughter Lydia, his nieces and nephews adored him.

He was indeed the people’s planner. He brought humanity to bureaucracy. Bernie always knew something about everything, and what he didn’t know he found out! Bernie was always ready and so proud to educate anyone on Cornish roots and heritage.

How fitting that a man of the land has chosen the land as his final resting place; and not just any land, but his land. Bernie has returned to his roots in Pensipple soil.

Farewell to a man of the people, Bernie Ellis, our councillor and friend.

Penny Prisk

A message from Sheryll Murray MP

“Bernie was a real inspiration who enriched my life.  I learned from him and he was always someone to whom I could turn.  I know that it was not just me that he would help but anyone who asked.  He was a selfless and tireless public servant who is a shining example to us all.  I will never forget Bernie and he will always have a place in my heart.”

Bernie Ellis