TRIBUTES have been paid to former Cardigan councillor Melfydd George, who has died aged 86.

Mr George was well known and respected throughout the area. A former Cardigan town mayor, he was a man of the people with strong links to all Welsh groups and associations.

He was a proud Welshman and a staunch Christian who supported and preached in many local chapels of all denominations for more than 50 years.

He had been a grass-roots worker with Plaid Cymru for more than 65 years since joining at 21 years of age. He was a past chairman of the local branch of Plaid Cymru.

At the latest meeting of Cardigan Town Council, members recalled Mr George with affection.

“Melfydd was a very big character who was well known in the town and served for many, many years,” said Cllr Clive Davies.

“When I became a councillor it was people like him who I looked up to see how to behave. He had very strongly held opinions and principles and it was very rare he would change his mind.”

Cllr John Adams-Lewis said: “I learned of his death with sadness. He was a man of culture and a committed nationalist.

“Without doubt he was a person who voiced his opinion and his love of our country and language was a major part of his life.”

Cllr Catrin Miles said: "I have very fond memories of Melfydd. I remember him going to Argentina with John Adams-Lewis and they were worried about the safety of the mayoral chains going through the airport.

"John was carrying the box they should have been in but Melfydd had the chains themselves in a supermarket carrier bag for safe keeping."

Mr George’s interest in local government spanned many decades, having served on Ferwig Community Council for 20 years, being chairman on two occasions. He was the first chairman of the Welsh Society of Local Town and Community Councils and served for six years, and also as a further 12 years as treasurer.

He was a member of the Tai Cantref housing association for 20 years before retiring. In 1999, having moved to Newport (Pembs), Mr George served on the local Community Council for eight years.

He served on Cardigan Town Council for 14 years and was the mayor in 2007-08 and travelled to Patagonia representing the people of Cardigan at the annual celebrations held in Trevelin, the twinned town of Cardigan.

He spent his early years working in Alberta, Canada, and returned to start his own agricultural contracting business, later developing his own agricultural seed-selling business.

Mr George prided himself on his fitness and strength as a young man and was fearless in the boxing rings at local fairs.

His funeral was held at Penparc Chapel on November 8. He is survived by his wife, Mrs Huldah George, and daughters, Gwyneth, Gwawr and Menna, and son, Aled.