Published: 06:00, 20 June 2019
Tributes have been paid to ex-town councillor Reg Belcourt who died after falling and seriously injuring himself while on holiday.
The 75-year-old passed away on the plane on the return flight from Mauritius.
He was a member of Hythe Town Council for a total of 16 years, having served from May 1999 to May 2003 and then again from May 2007 to May 2019.
He was previously a sea captain, having worked for Stena Line.
Mr Belcourt was married to Keren Belcourt, former mayor of the town who died in 2014 after a fall at home.
The couple had five children between them, and also fostered.
Mr Belcourt had just embarked on a three-week holiday to Mauritius to visit friends when he had a fall and hurt his shoulder.
He needed surgery but suffered complications and was put into intensive care.
His children flew out to be by his side and arranged a private medical plane to bring him home.
But he passed away on the return flight on Saturday.
It is understood he was suffering from ill health prior to his trip.
Friend and ex-town council colleague Alan Ewart-James, 76, said: “He was a very generous man, very sociable and always on the go.
"He was very active; he did a tremendous amount for the town.
"He was involved in organising the Christmas lights and Hythe in Bloom, the Chamber of Commerce and Rotary.
“We had known each other about 18 years since starting on the council.
“We worked on the ferries but for different companies.
"His native tongue was French and when you go in and out of Calais you need permission from Port Control.
"I would joke that he always got preferential treatment because he spoke French.
"I would say he should speak English, and he would say I should learn French.”
Hythe town clerk Margaret Stewart said: “Reg worked tirelessly for the town in many ways... but especially his involvement with Hythe in Bloom and the Christmas lighting.
"Our sincere condolences go to his family and friends at this very sad time."