Bromley’s twin town in Germany has been shocked by the sudden death of its mayor Nikolaus Roth while on a sailing holiday in Greece. He was just 59 years old and leaves a wife, Agnes, and two grown-up children.
“Hundreds of Bromley people got to know Nikolaus very well during the 18 years he was the Oberbürgermeister (Lord Mayor) of our twin town Neuwied and he was a man of great character and kindliness,” said Bromley Town Twinning Association chairman Peter Brown.
“Our hearts go out to Agnes, their daughter Anke and son Ingo. Nikolaus loved Britain and Bromley and has many friends here. Besides official events, he often came here privately. In September this year, we are due to host a visit of some 50 Neuwieders to Bromley to mark our 30th anniversary of twinning so we will have the chance to honour him.”
Among his closest friends in Bromley were David and Lynne Noble. David said “Lynne and I developed a lovely friendship with Nikolaus and Agnes over the past 15 years. Nikolaus was a very wise, knowledgeable and caring man.”
How Nikolaus came to die has yet to be disclosed and the Neuwied press too are waiting for details. After a family funeral, a service celebrating his life will be held on Tuesday, July 11, at St.Matthias Church in Neuwied. The Mayor of Bromley, Councillor Kathy Bance MBE, and the outgoing mayor, Councillor Ian Payne, will attend.
Nikolaus came from Trier. He studied jurisprudence at the Johannes-Gutenberg University in Mainz. A lifelong member of the Social Democratic Party, he became Bürgermeister (Mayor) of Neuwied in 1997 and Oberbürgermeister Lord Mayor) in 2000.
Neuwied sits on the famous River Rhine, close to some of the world’s greatest beauty spots. The town twinning associations of Bromley and Neuwied visit each other every year. Neuwied holds a Carnival every February and a town festival (Deichstadtfest) every July which has just taken place.
Bromley people are always welcome to visit whatever time of the year it is.