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Derek Burke was born in Shirley
and has lived in Southampton all his life. Educated at Merryoak School in the city, he has been a
stevedore in the city docks throughout his working life and
currently works for Solent Stevedores.
He was first elected to Southampton City Council in 1990 and spent the first four years representing the Millbrook ward before being elected councillor for Bargate in 1997.
He was elected Sheriff in May 1998 but in September was appointed Chair of the Council following the death of the City’s Mayor, Councillor Michael Andrews, in a flying accident. In May 1999 Derek Burke was elected Mayor of Southampton and during his mayoral year represented the city on over 1,000 occasions.
In May 2000 until May 2003, he became the Council’s Executive Member for Leisure and Tourism, with responsibility for Southampton’s indoor and outdoor sporting and recreation facilities, libraries, the City Art Gallery, heritage and culture.
He became the 574th Sheriff of Southampton for the year from May 2011 to May 2012 when he then became the Mayor of Southampton for the second time. This was during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year, and he attended several street parties that took place in the City over the Jubilee weekend and was very honoured to meet Her Majesty the Queen when she visited the New Forest Show as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations. Before his term of office came to an end, Cllr Burke gathered together many artefacts that relate to the cruise industry in the City and these items are now displayed in the corridor of the mayoral offices at the Civic Centre along with many plaques presented to the City by visiting naval vessels.
Derek has been a very active sportsman and remains keen on all areas of sport, particularly football.