Tributes have been paid to retired solicitor George Hastings, the first-ever chairman of South Holland District Council, who has died aged 88.
He enriched the life of the district in many roles, including as a senior partner of Calthrops Solicitors, governor at town schools and for 48 years as the longest-serving standing member of Spalding Town Husbands, which provides homes for people in need.
He will be remembered at Calthrops as a giant in his professionKevin Pallister
He was the last Mayor of Spalding Urban District Council and played a leading role in providing the town with the South Holland Centre, the Castle Sports Complex and swimming pool, and indoor bowling green.
Coun Bryan Alcock said: “He was an extremely kind person, very family orientated, and he was someone that stood up for the little man.
“He was probably one of the best chairmen that the council could possibly have. He was one of the most brilliant public speakers that I have ever heard and an extremely good debater.”
Coun Angela Newton was working for George at Calthrops when they both stood for election in 1973 for the emerging South Holland District Council, which replaced the urban, rural and East Elloe district councils, and said, as its first chairman, George made sure the new authority was “all embracing”.
She said: “We all loved him because he loved this district.”
Council leader Gary Porter described George as “a big man in life and a big man in the life of this district”.
Kevin Pallister, from Calthrops, said: “He will be remembered at Calthrops as a giant in his profession.”
George followed his father, Raymond, into the law and eventually became senior partner. He retired in 1998 but remained as a consultant until he was 80. His service to the firm and generations of Spalding families lasted more than half a century.
He leaves family including wife Jean, children Sarah, Jane and Simon, seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Son-in-law Andy Prior said George had “touched and influenced the lives of so many people of all age groups, especially those from the younger generations”, and he inspired his grandson to enter the law.
Andy said: “Without doubt the most important thing in his life was his family and only a couple of weeks ago he was proposing an impromptu toast at my daughter’s 30th birthday party and the next day taking his great-grandchildren to see Father Christmas.”
• A celebration of the life of Mr Hastings takes place at noon on Thursday, January 12, at Spalding Parish Church.