Barney Lovell is mourned

PUBLISHED: 06:15 22 June 2006 | UPDATED: 09:28 24 May 2010

TRIBUTES have been paid to former leading businessman, Round Table and Rotary International stalwart and sportsman Barney Lovell, who died at his home in Cross aged 78. Mr Lovell had received Rotary's highest honour last autumn for his lifelong community

TRIBUTES have been paid to former leading businessman, Round Table and Rotary International stalwart and sportsman Barney Lovell, who died at his home in Cross aged 78.Mr Lovell had received Rotary's highest honour last autumn for his lifelong community work, especially as chairman of the committee set up after the 1973 Axbridge air disaster.The former Sidcot School pupil was in the RAF during his National Service, and on return to the family home in Winscombe joined his father's extensive garage business, becoming managing director of the Ford agents Passey and Porter until his retirement in the late 1990s.He played both rugby and hockey for Weston and was a founder member of Winscombe tennis club, of which as a trustee he retained links for more than 50 years.He was also a keen badminton player, cricketer, swimmer and skittler.Mr Lovell joined first the Weston then Mendip Round Table clubs, before becoming a member of Mendip Rotary for well over 30 years. In 1963 he led a team from the area which took relief to victims of an earthquake centred on Skopje, in the former Yugoslavia. Ten years later, as news filtered through of the horrific crash involving an airliner carrying almost 140 local people on a day trip to Switzerland, he galvanised volunteers to staff an emergency centre in Axbridge.He continued his work for the disaster fund and helping families devastated by the tragedy for many years.Mr Lovell was on Mendip Rotary's committee which helped to advise the Cheddar Kings of Wessex School Young Enterprise projects. He was also a member of Compton Bishop Parish Council until he stepped down last year.Mendip Rotary president Jim Skinner said: "Barney stood for high standards and enthusiasm, and he was a great source of inspiration and care."Mr Lovell leaves a widow, Valerie, and married daughter Rosalind. Tragically the couple's son, rally driver Mark, died in America in 2003 in what was to have been his last rallying event.A thanksgiving service was held on June 15th, at St Andrew's Church, Compton Bishop. The family asked that instead of floral tributes, donations be made to Mendip Rotary's international disaster fund.

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