Council chiefs have this morning, Tuesday December 24, paid tribute to a former deputy mayor of West Norfolk who died at the weekend.
Garry Sandell, who served in the position until May of this year, died on Sunday, aged 67. It is understood he had been ill for some time.
Borough council leader Nick Daubney said: “This is such sad news. We knew Garry had been ill, but we had all hoped that he was coming through.
“I was shocked to hear that he had passed away and my thoughts are obviously with his family at this difficult time.
“Garry worked hard for his community and represented them on numerous forums. He was a kind man and in some ways a quiet man, who was especially appreciated for his keen sense of humour.
“He was a man whose opinions and advice you did well to listen to. We, his colleagues, will miss him greatly.”
Mr Sandell, who represented the Burnham ward on West Norfolk Council, was first elected in 1999 and served as the borough’s deputy mayor in 2012-13, under the then mayor, Geoffrey Wareham. He was also a member of the North Creake parish council for more than 20 years, including spells as chairman and vice-chairman.
And he served for 18 years in the Volunteer Royal Observer Corps, including seven as chief observer in charge of an underground nuclear reporting post at South Creake until it was decomissioned following the 1991 Gulf War. He won the Royal Observer Corps Medal in 1985 and a certificate of commendation from the Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk in 1991. He also represented the Corps at the annual Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph in London for many years.
Having initially worked as an aircraft fitter and in civil engineering, Mr Sandell moved into the building trade in the 1970s, establishing his own business, GL Sandell Builders until his retirement in 2000. Following his retirement, he worked for the Fitzroy organisation, which supports people with learning disabilities.
Mr Sandell is survived by his wife Jenny, two daughters and three grand-daughters.