A COMMITTED Stafford councillor who travelled the world as an MOD photographer has passed away suddenly at home.
Tony Welch, who represented the Coton ward on Stafford Borough Council, died on February 9. He was 73.
Although he had been suffering sight problems he continued to attend council meetings and work hard on behalf of his ward, fellow Labour councillor Jack Kemp said. One of Councillor Welch’s most recent tasks was tackling antisocial parking issues in Trenchard Avenue and he had also been a volunteer for Stafford Oxfam and a member of Friends of Stafford Castle.
Councillor Kemp said: “He was a very conscientious councillor who attended as many meetings as possible.”
Councillor Welch, of St George’s Road, was first elected onto the borough council in 2007 but had been a lifelong Labour supporter.
Originally hailing from Romford in Essex, his father had been a Labour councillor and mayor.
Councillor Welch spent his working life as a photographer, starting as an apprentice and doing work for magazines including Vogue and Home and Garden before moving to the MOD, where he rose through the ranks to become chief photographer for England and Wales.
His job took him around the world and included work with the Royal Family, training stills and videos with the Armed Forces. He retired around 15 years ago but was a member of Stafford Photographic Society, where he acted as a judge for some photographic competitions.
He was married to Aileen and had one daughter, Victoria. The family moved to Stafford in 1988.
Miss Welch said: “He was an amazing father and an absolute gentleman.
“He took a lot of time to teach me everything he knew about photography and history and was a very patient man. He was also very funny, a born joker.”
Councillor Welch’s funeral will be held on Thursday at Stafford Crematorium at 1pm. Family flowers only, but donations can be made in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society.
Enquiries to William Emery and Sons on 01785 251205.