TRIBUTES were paid to a former postmaster who died aged 96.

Geoffrey Connelly died on November 1 and his funeral was held at Kexborough Methodist Church last Friday. Geoffrey was born on March 3 1923 in Bradford and by the age of 14, he was working as a messenger boy for the Post Office. At the age of 18 he was promoted to postman but was given leave to serve in the RAF during the Second World War.

After the war, Geoffrey became the youngest postmaster in the country when he was appointed as postmaster in Blaydon, near Newcastle in 1960. His work saw him travel around England before he settled down in Barnsley in 1970 where he became assistant head postmaster which was a position he held until retirement in 1983, when he was 60. During his retirement, Geoffrey served as chairman of the Citizen’s Advice Bureau in Barnsley. He was also a Barnsley bench magistrate, being chairman of the adult and domestic court and a member of the Lord Chancellor’s advisory committee with responsibility for interviewing candidates.

“Dad was simply amazing. He was a real ‘joiner inner’ and great with people,” said Geoffrey’s daughter, Helen Riby. “He loved to talk and made friends easily but he also knew how to manage and motivate.

“On family holidays it didn’t matter where we went he inevitably bumped into someone he knew. Despite what must have been a challenging job he always had time for myself and my brother Stephen, as kids and was a great story teller keeping us amused in the 1960s.

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“He was a gentle and charitable man with a sharp mind and a good sense of humour. His ability to stand up and ‘say a few words’ was something he kept pretty much to the last.”