Tributes to popular village stalwart who 'got things done'
- Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2015
Tributes have been paid to a former council chairman who fought for countless causes in his village after he died at the age of 80.
George Debbage represented South Walsham on Broadland Council as an independent for more than a decade and spent three years as chairman of the council.
During this time he fought passionately for a range of causes, having already been thoroughly ingrained in the village's community.
A well-known and popular man, there were few walks of life you could take in the village without crossing Mr Debbage's path.
His wife Beryl said he was a driven, motivated man who would always go out of his way to help others.
She said: "He was a person who made sure everything he said he would do got done. He was determined and if he felt something was right he would do everything in his power to make sure it happened.
"They always say if you want something done ask a busy person, and he was that person."
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In his working life, Mr Debbage was a gardener and in 1973 was hand-picked by Lord Fairhaven to become head gardener at Fairhaven Gardens, a job he held for more than 40 years, where he spearheaded its transformation from being private to a much-loved public attraction.
He also organised regular fundraisers in the village, led a campaign to save the village school from closure and was successful in a bid to get a new village hall built while he was a parish councillor.
Mrs Debbage said another issue he was passionate about was making sure there was sufficient social housing in the village.
He also spent three years as the chairman of Broadland Council between 1997 and 2000 and was secretary and treasurer of South Walsham Football Club.
Mrs Debbage, who he married on August 22, 1964, added: "Since he died I have had so many lovely messages from people saying how much he meant to me and what a lovely man he was.
"He always said it was such a privilege to serve the village."
Mr and Mrs Debbage had two children together, Tim and Chris, and he leaves three grandchildren, Milo, 12, Matilda, nine and Theo, six.