Merton mourns the passing of Merton’s first black mayor

Merton Council was saddened to hear that former Mayor of Merton and Honorary Alderman Joe Abrams, passed away on Sunday 5 February.

Born on 5 December 1936, Joe became a Labour councillor and represented his home ward, Graveney in Mitcham from 1982 until 2006. He was made Mayor of Merton following Labour’s successful local election in 1990.

His other public duties included being the first chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission from 2000 to 2002 and Deputy Chair of the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE).

During the 1990s he chaired of the Equal Opportunities and Personnel Committee and, in 2006, was one of the few people to be awarded the Freedom of the Borough. Joe was also a Trustee of the National Maritime Museum.

Joe Abrams leaves three children, including his son Kingsley who has also served as a Merton Councillor.

“Everyone in the council was very saddened by the news of Joe passing away,” said Councillor Stephen Alambritis, Leader of the Council.

“He was a great Mayor and a very talented man. He made an incredible contribution to our borough and set a high standard for other mayors to follow. He is to be buried in Guyana and we will mark his passing at the full council meeting next month.”


Press Contact:
Nina Romain
Communications Officer
London Borough of Merton
020 8545 4654