On July 6, Roy Barker took on the office of President of the Rotary Club of Aireborough for 2010/11 with the same modesty, pride and courage he had consistently displayed since he became a club member in February 2006.

Sadly, 13 days later he finally lost his battle with the cancer he had fought so tenaciously.

Born in Hampstead, London, in 1954, Roy trained as a teacher in West Sussex. His first teaching post was at Primrose Hill School, Pudsey in 1977 followed by St Oswald’s, Guiseley; Westbrook Lane, Horsforth; and Calverley C of E School, where he became deputy head.

He was a keen footballer, who coached both football and athletics. He helped run the Aireborough District football team as well as being a swimming instructor at the Otter swimming club for 20 years and for many years one of the leaders at the Horsforth Play Scheme.

He also ran the London Marathon twice.

He was a member of the Aireborough Gilbert and Sullivan Society, helping backstage and then appearing in productions, occasionally with his two sons Peter and Andrew.

He was also a member of the Harrogate Gilbert and Sullivan Society and for many years helped the Methodist Players with set building and backstage work.

Very involved with Yeadon Methodist Church, he was part of the teaching team in Junior Church. He also served as a steward. He had also been part of the team driving the AVSED minibus.

Joining Rotary gave him a lifeline just at the right time when he had to give up teaching.

In Rotary Roy will be remembered as the epitome of “service above self”.

He took most pleasure from working with young people, judging teams in the Technology Tournament, presenting Dictionaries4Life in primary schools and riding the Ultimate on Kids Out days at Lightwater Valley with Meadows Park pupils.

Best of all, however, was his visit to India with his wife Sue to take part in national immunisation days on the End Polio Now worldwide project.

This was hands-on Rotary, a field where Roy excelled.

It was no surprise that in December 2008 the club awarded him Rotary’s highest honour – a Paul Harris Fellowship.

At the Aireborough Club this will continue to be Roy Barker’s year, the rest of us just hope we’ll live up to his expectations.

Roy leaves his wife Sue, his sons Peter, an officer in the Royal Navy and Andrew, a psychiatric nurse in Hull; and grandson Matthew James.

His funeral was held at Yeadon Methodist Church yesterday.