THE life of a ‘remarkable’ man was celebrated in an uplifting service.
Ted Gale, who was known as ‘Mr Hayling’ because of his passionate dedication to the island, died last month after a short spell in hospital following a fall.
Yesterday, hundreds of people joined his wife Barbara at St Mary’s Church in Hayling for a service filled with happy memories of Mr Gale, an honorary alderman at Hampshire County Council on which he represented Hayling for many years.
Mr Gale, 78, a retired detective for Hampshire Constabulary, was described by priest Pennie Payne as ‘a man of vitality and spirit’.
She read out a tribute from his family about his early life as a farmer in the West Country, his wonderful story-telling, and his love for his growing family and delight at helping others, particularly on Hayling.
He was very proud of the achievements of his grandsons, who became police officers themselves, and was delighted to have become a great-grandfather. Mr Gale was made an MBE for service to the community.
County council leader Roy Perry gave a moving eulogy.
He said: ‘Today is a sad day because we say farewell to Ted – or Mr Hayling as he was more often known.
‘But it is also a day that we can be proud – proud that we knew Ted.
‘As a county councillor Ted was 100 per cent reliable and dependable.
‘A man of wisdom and goodwill. A man who was dedicated to his division.
‘No-one was ever in any doubt which part of Hampshire he represented.’
Cllr Perry added: ‘He was universally admired on Hampshire County Council and he will be remembered with affection.’
Mr and Mrs Gale were married for 66 years and had daughters Bridget and Hilary.
Captain Kit Phillips recalled working with Mr Gale until a few weeks before he died in the Conservative Party office in South Street, Havant.
He said: ‘He had an extraordinary knack of pulling people together and getting them to do things – sometimes against their better inclinations.
‘His supper clubs were famous and he was on first-name terms with people like Boris Johnson, Edwina Currie and Ann Widdecombe.
‘He was still going into the office every day, jollying things along.
‘He was a remarkable man and we will miss him terribly.’
The theme tune to Dixon of Dock Green was played as mourners left the church.