TRIBUTES have been paid to a ‘giant of politics in Trafford’ who has died.

More than a hundred people packed out Timperley Methodist Church on Friday afternoon to celebrate the life of long-serving councillor Ray Bowker MBE.

Bowker was Trafford’s mayor during the millennium year and raised more than £71,000 for two local charities – Trafford Young Carers Project and Trafford Crossroads – during his time as civic leader.

Cllr Andrew Western, said: “I must start with an apology about how we could hope to encapsulate all the rich tapestry of Ray’s work in such a short speech but I could not do it.

“Ray believed in public service giving nearly 50 years of his life to his community.

“He was always wanted the best for the people of Trafford and that is why he was so respected by his peers.”

Cllr Bowker was elected back in 1973 and served on nearly all the Council’s committees during his time as councillor.

In 2002 Cllr Bowker was awarded an MBE for a lifetime of service to the community, which he described at the time as “absolutely the greatest honour of my life.”

“Ray was brave as a politician and had courage in spades. He was proud of Trafford and wanted the area thrive. I want to thank him on behalf of the staff for his service to help residents.”

Ray was a lifelong Timperley resident, he served on many school governing bodies including his former school Wellington. He was chair of governors at Broomwood Primary School in Timperley at the time of his death.

He also served for more than 40 years in the Boys Brigade, 7th Altrincham Company at Timperley Methodist Church.

Ray’s son Neil thanked the people who had attended the service and also shared memories of his loyalty to ‘Volvo cars’ with them as they were like their ‘extended family’.

He said: “Dad had a loyalty to the community and invested a lot of time helping to make the community stronger as it meant so much to him.

“He created an extended family and my sister and I tried to walk from one end of town to the other and it took almost two hours as he talked to everyone.”