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Former Shildon Town Council clerk remembered as 'dedicated and loyal'
A FORMER town council clerk who died last month has been described as “a dedicated and loyal employee” who always put his staff first.
Tom Toward, 79, from West Auckland, was Shildon Town Council’s clerk for 25 years, during which time he set-up the Sid Chaplin Short Story Competition, secured about £1m for the restoration of Hackworth Park, created the fun run in Shildon, and confirmed the council offices’ current location.
He also worked for the Durham Association of Parish and Town Councils and set-up S & D Training, of which he was chairman until 2012, to help people back into work and training.
Newcastle United fan Mr Toward was a keen golfer who enjoyed keeping fit, playing five-a-side until he was 60, and travelled to many different countries during his retirement.
His daughter, Christine Ames, described her father as ‘a very loving, tolerant, and compassionate man’ who adored the women in his life – his mother, his late wife, Anna, and Ms Ames.
She said: “Dad had a lot of belief in other people and a lot of understanding for them too.
“He was a good judge of character and loved to talk, was full of knowledge and had a prodigious memory.
“He was also very warm and caring and had a great capacity to enjoy himself.
“His loss will inevitably leave am enormous gap in my life and he is greatly missed.
"But I feel fortunate to have known him and to have the memory of such a fine dad.”
Tracey Bellas, deputy town clerk at Shildon Town Council, said: “Tom was a dedicated and loyal employee of the town council, going that extra mile in what he believed in.
“He was a kind and understanding person, who treated his staff with respect, always asking for our views first, as he believed in the bottom-up approach. He always put his staff first.”
Toni Stratton, managing director of S & D Training, added: “Every company needs a Tom.
"He had a fantastic ability to get to the root of a matter.
“He had a lifetime of local politics and history to help staff understand things and to provide balance.”
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