Published: 10:16, 25 January 2021
| Updated: 10:18, 25 January 2021
Tributes have been paid to a man who was instrumental in a town's twinning association.
Mike Elvy died at the William Harvey Hospital on January 2, following a battle with cancer and Covid.
Mr Elvy, 78, grew up on a farm near Faversham before beginning a life-long career as a self-employed builder - a role for which he was best known.
He worked on many houses in the Ashford area over his years on the job.
Son Chris said: "He made friends really easily and made friends for life.
"We've certainly experience that over the last few days, with so many people getting in touch.
"It's amazing to see the impact he's had on people and the area over the years.
"There's people he's known for 40 or 50 years who were still his friends."
When asked about Mike's personality, Chris added: "He generally had a really positive outlook on things and found it really easy to be cheerful and friendly.
"He was very giving and generous, particularly with his time. His partner Marion died at the Pilgrims Hospice three years ago, and since then he's done a lot of fundraising for them."
Mr Elvy used his charm to improve Ashford twinning links to Bad Münstereifel and Fougeres.
As a long-time member of the Ashford Twinning Association, Mike was made chairman in 1999, a role normally reserved for prominent townspeople.
"He was a fountain of knowledge and a great raconteur..."
Current secretary Philippa Seager said: "Mike gained great respect as chairman with his dry sense of humour and friendly personality.
"He was determined to encourage new members so that they, too, could enjoy the experiences that twinning offers and understand the different cultures. His passion was contagious.
"Mike was always involved in all the Twinning activities. Even when he was not the chairman, he was on the committee.
"He was a fountain of knowledge and a great raconteur about past events and members. He will, most definitely, be sorely missed."
A large part of his life - which even played into the twinning association - was target shooting.
His skill with a rifle won him hundreds of medals and trophies, and led him to be invited to join the Ashford team travelling to Bad Münstereifel for matches.
He became a member of the Ashford and Biddenden Rifle Clubs and was, at one time, Kent Veterans Champion.
The crack shot took over the twin-town shooting exchanges and organised them for many years.
He is survived by sons Chris and Geoff, as well as Marion's children Glen, Wendy and Louise.