TRIBUTES have poured in for an Ashton Keynes man whose tireless contributions to the community saw him rewarded with an MBE.

Peter Hartland, a former Army major, died last month after a short illness, aged 85.

A service was held for him on Friday, January 31 at the Holy Cross Church in Ashton Keynes, where he was a lay minister for several years.

Reverend Shirley Danby who led the service said: “The last verse of the last song at the service, described what Peter was like. It read, one day we’ll see him face to face to him we’ll bow the knee. We’ll never say goodbye again the best is yet to be.

“That is what his faith gave him, the same certain hope of a place beyond this earth.

“He always thought that believing in god would make a difference to his life. He did an amazing amount for the church and the village. He was never afraid to tell people about God.”

“These days people say “take care” when they say goodbye. Peter always used to say “take risk” because he had the confidence to take risk for God.”

Peter, who ran the well-known Cove House B&B in Ashton Keynes for many years, leaves behind four sons, James, David, Jonathan and Duncan as well as daughter, Rebecca.

He will be fondly remembered for his dedicated contributions to the community, such as setting up several events like the ten-yearly Ashton Keynes village pageant and promoting sport for youngsters in the area.

He also was president of Ashton Keynes Tennis Club, a club he set up in the late 80s, after borrowing £5000 to build a hard court in an effort to give women in the village something to do.

Peter’s hard work in the community did not go unnoticed, in 2010 he was awarded an MBE for all the contributions he made to Ashton Keyes.

Peter Tuck, a friend of Mr Hartland, described him as one of Ashton Keynes’s characters and said he will be sadly missed.

“He was very difficult to say no to. If he was organising something it was almost impossible to say no to him – his enthusiasm was incredible – and as well this he was a very good friend, he said.”

“I am a lay minister at Ashton Keynes Holy Cross Church and decided to do the job after he stepped down when he was 80. His example was inspirational to me. He was an inspiration for me to become a lay minister.”