Yarmouth boy who loved the people of his town

Start of the Great Yarmouth Bowls Festival - Mayor Tony Smith bowls the first wood to officially ope

Start of the Great Yarmouth Bowls Festival - Mayor Tony Smith bowls the first wood to officially open the festival.Picture: James BassCopy: For: EDP SportEastern Daily Press © 2009 (01603) 772434 - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2009

The family of former Great Yarmouth mayor Tony Smith have paid tribute to a true 'Yarmouth boy'.

He served as the borough mayor in 2009/10 and represented Caister North as a councillor for 16 years, standing down in 2014.

His son, Matt, said: 'He was a Yarmouth boy. If you cut him in half it would be like a stick of rock saying 'Yarmouth'.

'He always put the interests of people in Yarmouth first and he took enormous pride in his civic role as mayor.

'He thought the town was not perceived as positively as it could have been, especially in Norfolk, and did his best to change this.'

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Mr Smith was born at home in Garfield Road, Newtown in 1948 and was the only child of Albert 'Tom' Smith, who died in 2003, and Elsie Smith, 92, who survives him.

He attended the grammar school, and Matt said his dad was always interested in sport, and competed in shot put, played football for AS Alpha and cricket for the Yare Cricket Club.

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After school he worked as an accountant, a career he continued throughout his life.

He met his wife Sara at a wedding in 1969 and they were married in her home village of Harpley in west Norfolk.

They had two sons, Daniel and Matthew, who were born in 1975 and 1978 respectively.

Throughout his life he was involved in a number of organisations including the Norfolk Broads Lions and in later life Rotary.

He was also a governor of Caister Middle and High schools and a director at the Great Yarmouth Tourism BID.

In 1999, together with his wife, he opened Sara's Tearoom on Great Yarmouth seafront near the Pleasure Beach.

Matt said his father enjoyed running the tearoom and talking to customers.

'He loved history and was always passionate about the historic things in Yarmouth and took great interest when people in the cafe came in with stories.

'He never really retired, and he was making plans for the tearoom until a few days before he died.'

Matt added: 'Anyone and everyone who was touched by dad's actions and life is invited to attend the funeral and celebrate his life.'

The funeral service takes place on Thursday, May 26. at 1.15pn at St Nicholas Minister, in Great Yarmouth.

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