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Former Chief Of Guildford YMCA Dies Aged 79

Published on: 3 Mar, 2016
Updated on: 3 Mar, 2016

Tributes have been paid to Alex Cloke, the former chief executive of Guildford YMCA, who died on Thursday, February 18, aged 79, following a three-year battle with cancer.

Mr Cloke was an engineer and designer by profession, but in 1983 he responded to an advertisement entitled ‘Wanted – Christian Businessman’.

Alex Cloke, former chief executive of Guildford YMCA, has died aged 79.

Alex Cloke, former chief executive of Guildford YMCA, has died aged 79.

He joined the YMCA as head of the commercial division of the National Council, with responsibility for its hotels, outdoor residential centres, the development of hostels and the running of its work with the armed forces in Germany and Cyprus.

After five years at National Council and London Central he was appointed chief executive of Guildford YMCA.

His first task was to oversee the completion and opening of the new Y Centre on Bridge Street. His aim was to create a home with hotel standards and to give the young people of Guildford a secure environment as a stepping stone to independence.

Pete Brayne, a former CEO of Guildford YMCA said:, Alex was a tour de force in the YMCA and especially in establishing the YMCA in Guildford.

“His passion, commitment and faith meant that when I took over as CEO in 2001, there was a very firm and solid foundation in place for me to build on. He left a wonderful legacy that will continue to impact the lives of thousands of young people for generations to come.”

Having retired, Mr Cloke hadn’t finished with the YMCA, and subsequently was deeply involved in the design and build of another brand new YMCA hostel in his home town of Horsham, which opened in 2005.

Mr Cloke was held in high regard by his staff, and although he retired from Guildford YMCA in 2001 those who knew him and worked with him are mourning his passing. He inspired loyalty and affection among his staff, and many current and former Guildford colleagues attended his thanksgiving service.

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