Tributes have poured in for a community stalwart who died suddenly at home on Friday (June 12).
Michael Scard – Max to all who knew him – passed away aged 79.
The RAF veteran, of Wykeham Road, spent much of his free time volunteering for numerous charities in town.
He was the standard bearer for the Hastings & St Leonards branch of the Royal Air Forces Association and a member of Hastings and St Leonards Veterans Association.
Speaking on behalf of his family, Max’s niece, Helen Nicola, said: “Max was a kind and generous brother and uncle.
“He spent most of his life giving to others and always had time for his family and enjoyed nothing more than spending time with his great-nephews and nieces.
“Max was a true gentleman and one in a million. He will be deeply missed by everyone who knew him.”
Max spent 24 years in the RAF and was stationed in Iraq between 1954 and 1955.
He later spent three years in Cyprus.
He also worked in Libya, helping to clear German mines.
After Libya, Max was sent to Borneo where he worked as a helicopter gunner.
In Hastings, Max spent more than 20 years working with the town’s RAF cadets, as well as volunteering for the charity Surviving Christmas and WRVS.
Ann Andrews, chairman of Surviving Christmas, said: “Max was very much loved and respected by many volunteers and committee members.”
Mayor Bruce Dowling said: “Max has been a great example to us all over many years with his dedication to all the different organisations he belonged to and was involved with.
“His tireless work for the charities he helped and his commitment to the veterans’ association, where he regularly bore the RAF standard at commemorative events was second to none.
“I also witnessed Max giving freely of his time to help people at the Surviving Christmas events each year where he was hard at work helping to prepare meals.”
Rev Luke Dean, from St John’s Hollington, said: “Max’s relationship with St John’s Hollington began through the local Burma Star Association’s annual Rangoon Service, where for many years he was one of the standard bearers.
“He became a regular and faithful member of St John’s and sung as tenor with the choir for 10 or more years.
“Max could be relied upon to support and help at a wide range of church events.
“Max was always cheerful and a friendly face at things like coffee mornings and willing to help other members of the congregation offering lifts to and from church and other events.”
Michael Foster, the town’s former MP and president of the Hastings branch of the Royal British Legion, said: “Max was an institution among ex-service associations in Hastings and the surrounding district.
“His sudden and untimely death is a grievous loss to all who knew him.
“The day after his death he was due to be carrying the standard of the Hastings and St Leonards Branch of the Royal Air Forces Association at a ceremony at the Menin Gate in Ypres and I understand he was very much looking forward to joining his friends and family to celebrate his 80th birthday on November 11.
“His commitment to the British Legion was very much associated with the Poppy Appeal where he was a stalwart, collecting on the streets for the past 25 years.
“He was also an active member of the British Legion branch. He was a fine example to his colleagues and friendly and outgoing nature made him a popular character.”
The date for Max’s funeral is yet to be announced. Those who knew him who wish to attend can contact Arthur C Towner funeral directors on 01424 436386.
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