Tributes for Welwyn Hatfield stalwart

PUBLISHED: 13:20 08 April 2016 | UPDATED: 13:51 08 April 2016

Dr Gordon Ayerst in 1978

Dr Gordon Ayerst in 1978

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Tributes have flooded in for a “kind and well respected” ex-borough council chairman after he lost his battle with cancer.

Dr Gordon Ayerst was made Welwyn Hatfield Council chairman in 1978, became WGC Rotary Club president in 2003 and worked at Imperial Chemical Division (ICI) in the late 1970s and 1980s.

He died on March 1, and his funeral on March 23 was attended by over 80 people.

Dr Ayerst was described as “quiet, personable and honest” by ICI colleague and fellow WGC Rotary Club member, Dennis Lewis, who added: “He was a gentle, quiet man with a nice sense of humour, who got on well with his fellow men and women.

“He was always interested in what was happening around the world, not just in science and the field of plastics, but also in international affairs, events and politics.”

Chief executive of Welwyn Hatfield Council Michel Saminaden said: “On behalf of everyone at the council, our condolences go to Gordon’s family at this difficult time.

“He is remembered as a very hard working and caring councillor and will be missed by many, including everyone in the local community he helped during his time as a local councillor.”

WGC Rotary Club president Andy Forrow said Dr Ayerst was renowned in the club for growing rhubarb and giving it to fellow Rotarians. He added he played a “special” role in the club and was particularly keen on its polio eradication programme.

“Gordon was passionate about his community,” Mr Forrow said. “Few people can be said to have made a greater contribution to the life of WGC and Welwyn Hatfield.

“His work with the housing association involved always pushing the boundaries in the interests of those in greatest need.”


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