Mourners packed Our Lady Star of the Sea RC Church to say farewell to a community champion dubbed ‘Mr St Annes’.
The Town Council closed its offices as a substantial contingent of members and officials took their places among the congregation to say farewell to David Wood, who died suddenly last month, aged 72.
David, a retired postman, raised substantial amounts of cash for charity through regular beard shaves and was an enthusiastic member of a variety of organisations, including the Knights of St Columba, the Lytham St Annes Twinning Association, the Blackpool and Fylde Rail Users’ Association and the Campaign for Real Ale.
A minute’s silence was held in tribute to him by St Annes Town Council days after his death was announced, as he was a regular attender in he public gallery and last autumn was presented with a certificate of appreciation for all he had done to support the Town Council.
Tributes were paid to him at his funeral by town crier Colin Ballard, who said: “David was Mr St Annes.
“He loved the town and was always out and about, usually in some guise or other, be it Father Christmas, John Bull or The Lollipop Man – in shorts!
“David Wood will be missed, remembered and revered in many quarters – he had a heart of gold and a great love for this town.”
Town mayor Vince Settle led the representatives from St Annes Town Council and said: “David was passionate about St Annes and was always full of ideas for the good of the town. He will be sadly missed.”
Arnold Sumner, co-ordinator of St Annes Chamber of Trade, said: “David was involved with so many organisations and really cared about the future of St Annes and how to make it a better place to live and for visitors.”