Some 26 years earlier, his father, Joseph, had suffered a similar fate. He had worked at the Cape Asbestos factory at Old Town, above Hebden Bridge.
Born and brought up in Hebden Bridge, Philip attended Calder High School in Mytholmroyd, joining the Halifax Evening Courier in 1971 as a reporter.
He left to become the South Pennines Information Officer, establishing a new tourist information centre in Hebden Bridge. Later he became West Yorkshire’s county tourism officer, promoting the county in Britain and overseas.
From the mid-1980s he worked in media relations for the Post Office, the BBC and others, before moving to County Durham with the Tyne and Wear Development Corporation and then to the south of England, where he worked in turn for Portsmouth City Council, the Ordnance Survey and the Automobile Association.
He and his wife Judith, whom he married in 1980, were prominent Liberal councillors in the 1970s and 1980s, on Hebden Royd and Calderdale councils. Philip served in Hebden Royd for 10 years, becoming the council’s youngest-ever chairman in 1976.
In 1983, Judith was deputy leader of Calderdale Council and chair of its education committee, while her husband chaired the planning committee.
Judith said of the disease that killed her husband: “Philip never worked with asbestos but his father did in the 1960s and Philip’s cancer was almost certainly caused by asbestos fibres brought into his childhood home on his father’s overalls.”
The couple emigrated to Canada in 2004 and became Canadian citizens in 2009, with dual nationality.
Philip was stepfather to Simon and David, and grandfather to Nathan, Lisi, Seb, Lea, Ruby and Emily.