Tributes paid to former Welwyn Hatfield mayor who ‘had a zest for life’
PUBLISHED: 11:03 22 April 2020 | UPDATED: 11:03 22 April 2020
A former Welwyn Hatfield mayor who “had a zest for life” and taught his children and grandchildren to stand up for others has died.
Michael Long, known as Mick, served as Welwyn Hatfield mayor between 2008 to 2009 and as Hatfield Town Council’s first mayor from 2006 to 2007.
His step-granddaughter, Samantha Onn, who lives in WGC, said Mick had a “zest of life” and was a real people person with the gift of the gab and got along with everyone.
She will always picture the former London cab driver walking into Hatfield Social Club, taking off his hat, and greeting her behind the bar with his customary ‘are you alright mate?’.
The Hatfield resident, and Conservative councillor from 2003 to 2016, went to live at Greenacres nursing home in 2016 after he developed dementia and his wife Dorothy Carr passed away.
That same year he moved to Halifax nursing home, which was closer to his children Dawn Ciereszko and Martin Hayes, whose wife Mandy was with him when he passed away in his sleep.
But Samantha believes, if had been able to he would have been out giving free lifts to NHS workers during the lockdown.
She said: “He had a real passion for helping people and making a difference.”
Mick wore many roles during his life. When he was younger he was a boxer and taught kids at a gym.
He was also in the merchant navy, the army, a Freemason, a banjo player, a lorry driver and a mechanic.
And during most of his life, he was a story-telling cab driver who wore banana slippers to make his grandchildren and great-grandchildren laugh.
He is survived by his brother Peter, his two children, three step-children and lots of grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Current Mayor of Welwyn Hatfield Cllr Roger Trigg said: “It is with great sadness that I learnt of Mick’s passing and I offer my deepest condolences to his family at this time.
“He worked tirelessly for the community and is remembered fondly by many councillor colleagues here at Welwyn Hatfield.”
Hatfield Town Council leader Lenny Brandon added: “I was always amazed at his drive, commitment and enthusiasm to the cause. My heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.“
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