TRIBUTES have been paid to a long-serving parish councillor who lost a battle with lung cancer and pneumonia.
George Jones, who served on Horden Parish Council from 1996 and played an active part in the community, died aged 75.
The former miner was still involved in the parish council until the past year when he had to ease up on his commitments due to ill-health.
Coun Jones, who was involved in other community groups, was described as a “true gentleman” by fellow parish councillors.
Parish council vice-chairman, Coun Margaret Robinson, said: “He was a very well-respected councillor and a true gentleman.
“He was also very well-respected as a person and for the work he did. It is a big loss.”
Coun Jones’s daughter, Barbara, 37, said: “He was a lovely family man and he had the community’s interest at heart. “He did as much as he could and took up a lot of people’s complaints on his own.” Coun Jones was also chairman of Horden Social Welfare Centre’s sub-committee and vice-chairman of the authority’s parks and cemeteries committee.
The councillor, who was also chairman of Horden Residents’ Association, was married to Marie, 72, and dad to Terence, Melvin, Barry and Donna. His brother, John, lives in Newcastle.
Coun Jones, also known as Terry, was also a grandfather-of-five and great-grandfather-of-two.
Horden Parish Council clerk Paul Davison said: “His proudest moment as a community activist was when he became chairman of the social welfare centre sub-committee, which looks after the management of the former miners’ hall.
“He used to pay his dad’s union fees for him there when he was 10 and to assume the chairmanship of that committee was a great honour for him.” Coun Jones also played an active role in the Blue Badge Network, a national charity that provides help and guidance for disabled people and their families.
A trade union man, Coun Jones, who died on Friday, was born in Easington in 1936 and moved to Horden when he was 10. He went to Horden Modern Boys School from the age of 10 to 14, before working at Forbes Farm at Little Thorpe.He worked at Easington pit from 1954 to 1985.
Fellow parish councillor Billy Hill said: “George was a well-liked councillor and he helped me when I first started at the parish council.”
Councillor Dennis Maddison, who represents the village on Durham County Council, said: “He was such a good friend, it’s such a shame.”
A minute’s silence will be held at next month’s parish council meeting.
Coun Jones’s funeral at Peterlee Methodist Church, in Bede Way, at 12.30pm on Monday, will be followed by interment at Horden Cemetery.