Almost 100 people, including local dignitaries, turned out for the funeral of Bill Fagg, former Oxford Lord Mayor and the city's first honorary alderman.

A packed chapel at Oxford Crematorium yesterday paid their respects to Mr Fagg, who died aged 79.

He was a Labour councillor in Oxford for nearly 36 years and served as Lord Mayor, deputy Mayor and Oxford's Sheriff. Mr Fagg, who lived at Townsend House nursing home, Headington, with his wife Ida, was made an alderman for his services to Oxford. Current Oxford Lord Mayor Val Smith was at the ceremony along with other city councillors and family members including Ida and sons Jeffrey, Keith and Clifford.

The service was taken by the Rev Philip Morse, the Methodist minister for Headington.

Jeffrey Fagg read the parable of the Good Samaritan to the congregation.

In a tribute afterwards he said: "The reason for reading the Good Samaritan was because we could liken father to that great parable.

With tears in his eyes and a voice breaking with emotion Jeffrey added: "He magnified his office. "Colour and creed did not matter, everyone was served with equal importance."

Mrs Smith said: "Bill was a man who devoted his life to public service.

"He and Ida were a wonderful, devoted couple and I will always remember Bill with love and gratitude."

Canon Tony Williamson, a former city councillor, added: "This occasion is one where I want to be saying a very big thank you to a great man who made a great contribution to the lives of us here and the city as a whole."

Story date: Wednesday 26 January

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