Hackney remembers Rupert Tyson 1934-2021

Community stalwart, anti-racism campaigner and former chair of Hackney Homes, Rupert Tyson sadly passed away this month at the age of 87. 

Born in 1934 in Trinidad and Tobago he moved to the UK in the 1960s aged 26 and was a keen cricketer. On moving to England he became passionate about tackling inequalities, working on Hackney’s race relations board and advocating for vulnerable residents. 

Rupert first joined Hackney Council in the 1980s where he worked in housing services, moving on to the race relations office and finally helping to found Hackney Homes and becoming its Chair in 2006.

Rupert was passionate about providing decent homes for all, during his time in Housing Services he oversaw programmes that saw the installation of thousands of new kitchens and bathrooms as well as building upgrades to hundreds of homes. He was awarded the MBE in the New Year’s Honours in 2011 for his contribution to housing services.

Well known for his community spirit, Rupert was often seen out and about in Hackney keeping an eye on the ground and ensuring that residents had what they needed. 

After retiring from Hackney Homes, Rupert went on to chair Healthwatch Hackney, an organization that is a voice for residents and advocates for better health for the people of Hackney. He stepped down in 2020 due to ill health. 

When he stepped down from Healthwatch Hackney in 2020, Rupert said: “It has been an honour to contribute to making sure the residents' voice is really heard by those running health and care services. It’s important all services involve residents in their decision-making, transparently and from the start. This pandemic clearly exposes the injustices in our society. These can only be tackled if people trust those who run things will work openly with them to end this inequality.”

Rupert is fondly remembered by his family, colleagues, friends and neighbours - who want to see his legacy of providing decent homes for all, live on. 

The Mayor also extended his condolences on behalf of the borough and paid tribute to Rupert’s contribution to Hackney at the Council’s Cabinet Meeting on Monday, 29 November - you can view that on the Council Youtube.

People can leave messages of condolence on Rupert’s memorial page.