George Savage remembered during Assembly discussion

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Tributes were paid to the late George Savage in the Assembly this week.

Ulster Unionist Party Leader Mike Nesbitt, accompanied by Upper Bann MLAs Jo-Anne Dobson and Sam Gardiner paid tribute to their former colleague and friend.

Speaking on the floor of the Assembly on Monday morning Mr Nesbitt said: “George Savage was an Ulster Unionist stalwart, a man who loyally and faithfully represented the party in the Upper Bann area for decades.”

Mrs Dobson said: “My first memories of George are as a neighbouring farmer when, after marriage, we first moved to Waringstown to set up our family home.

“Back then, any time I got the privilege to chat with George politics was never mentioned.

“He was always asking how Mark was keeping, and then the conversation changed to beef prices and all things farming!

“The high esteem which George was held within the community was evident on Friday when Donaghcloney village came to a total standstill.”

Mr Gardiner said: “Words are not sufficient to pay tribute to George or to talk about the man and his character.

“He was a great man, very sincere, who was dedicated to his work with his three sons on the farm and to his wife, Joy.

“I was privileged to serve on Craigavon Borough Council with him on the several occasions when he was mayor, and also privileged to serve in this House with George.”

DUP MLA Stephen Moutray, “George was the same to everyone he met. He was quietly spoken, sincere, thoughtful, considerate and mild mannered.

“George really was a “true gentleman”. He was dedicated to his constituents and as was said at his funeral people often came to discuss their issues in the farmyard.

“George was a man of the land at heart and his time on the Agriculture Committee bears testament to that fact. He also gave sterling service to NI Drainage Council and was Chair of the Southern Organisation for Action in Rural Areas.”

Mr Moutray continued: “Cllr Savage was proud of his family roots in the local community for many generations and rightly so. George’s legacy will live on for generations to come and I am proud to say that I served with George and I am glad to be able to have called him my friend.”