Fond tributes paid to former Havant councillor who has died

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WARM tributes have been paid to a committed community leader who has died.

Hugh Benzie, who was a councillor for St Faith’s Ward in Havant for eight years, has died at the age of 87.

Close friend Ray Cobbett, from Emsworth, said: ‘After leaving the RAF he continued to teach, eventually becoming a headteacher in a Portsmouth school. After early retirement Hugh, a life-long Liberal Democrat, stood for Havant council and eventually succeeded in the St Faith’s ward, where he completed two full terms in the 1980s and early 1990s as deputy group leader and chair of planning and development.

‘He had an infectious enthusiasm for everything he did and that included being a lay preacher for Emsworth Methodists and a celebrant at many funerals and supporter of many local causes.

‘He was fine speaker, a chorister with the Portsmouth Choral Union with his wife Isobel and an inspiring, loyal friend always ready to support those most in need.’

His funeral took place in Tavistock, Devon, where he moved three years ago from Emsworth. A recording of the service will be played tomorrow at the Emsworth Pastoral Centre at 3pm, at which there will be time for friends to share memories of his life.