Cynthia Alcantara-Baker, the first Filipina mayor of Hertsmere in Hertfordshire, England, has passed away at the age of 58 due to a “serious illness.”
“It is with extreme sadness that we announce the passing of The Worshipful Hertsmere Mayor Councillor Cynthia Barker following a bout of serious illness,” said Gene Alcantara, brother of Barker, in a Facebook post on Tuesday.
He added: “We will be issuing further information in due course, but may we ask please to respect the family’s privacy at this very difficult time. Your prayers for the repose of her soul would however be welcome.
Barker, who ran under the Conservative Party, made history when she was appointed as mayor in June this year after having served as deputy mayor in 2019. She had also been a borough councilor for Borehamwood’s Kenilworth ward since 2015.
The Hertsmere Borough Council described the Philippines-born local official as “extremely proud of her heritage” despite living in the U.K. district for 29 years.
The Hertsmere Borough Council’s flag is flying at half-staff outside civic offices to honour Barker.