TRIBUTES have been paid this evening to popular Lampeter county councillor, Hag Harris, who passed away earlier today (Tuesday).
Cllr Harris, who ran the much-loved music store, Hag’s, on Bridge Street until its closure in 2016, was returned unopposed as councillor for Lampeter earlier this month.
Cllr Robert George Harris, 66, known as Hag, had represented Lampeter on Ceredigion County Council since its inception in 1995, most recently being elected unopposed at the elections in May.
He also served the town on the preceding Ceredigion District Council.
Labour’s sole representative on the county council, he has served in Cabinets during coalition administrations and served as Council Chairman in 2018-19, and vice-chairman in 2017.
He was also a long-serving Lampeter town councillor, representing the town as mayor on three occasions, with the last of those in 2017/18.
He was also a long-time school Governor at Ysgol Bro Pedr, a trustee of Lampeter Family Centre, and member of Hanes Llambed Lampeter History Society.
Ceredigion MS, Elin Jones, paid tribute this evening on Facebook. She said: “Newyddion trist iawn i Llambed heddi gyda marwolaeth annisgwyl Hag Harris.
“Bydd y dre’ yn dawel am hir heb Hag.
“I’m not sure whether Lampeter adopted Hag or Hag adopted Lampeter.
“Either way they gelled beautifully. The young student from Coventry learned Cymraeg and the most unlikely of towns kept voting for a Labour councillor.
“Hag was involved in most things in the town and championed Lampeter wherever he went.
“As someone who has known this town all my life, it’s hard to visualse its streets without Hag.
“Diolch Hag am ddewis Llambed ac am wasanaethu’r dref mor driw. Pob cydymdeimlad gyda’i deulu a’i ffrindiau agos.”
Ceredigion MP Ben Lake also paid tribute, saying: “Today was a very sad day for the town of Lampeter, as news broke of the death of Councillor Hag Harris.
“Hag was an ever-present presence in town: known to everyone, and always ready to lend a helping hand.
“He served as both a town and county councillor for Lampeter for decades, in which time he made an invaluable contribution to every aspect of the town’s life.
“Lampeter has lost one of its favourite characters, but our thoughts and sympathies this evening are with his family and close friends as they come to terms with this terrible news.”
Speaking on behalf of the Labour Labour Branch and former colleague on Lampeter Town Council, Dinah Mullholland, said: “I am saddened and shocked to hear of Hag Harris’ death today.
“His passing represents a massive loss to the Lampeter community, Llafur Lampeter Labour, and to Llafur Ceredigion Labour.
“I believe that the Ceredigion Labour will be releasing a tribute to Hag in due course.
“Meanwhile I would like to express sincere condolences to his family, friends and comrades, and my own thanks to Hag for his advice, guidance and support since I joined Ceredigion Labour Party.
“We occasionally had our political differences and sometimes we would robustly air those differences in party and town council meetings, but those differences were never personal and we enjoyed and appreciated each other’s company very much.
“He was a kind and witty man with a wealth of local and Labour Party knowledge that he gave of generously. I learnt a great deal from Hag. I will miss him very much, as will the Lampeter community.”
Speaking to the Cambrian News last month on his return to county council after being elected unopposed as the county councillor for Lampeter, Cllr Harris said he was ‘really happy’ to represent the town and how he was looking forward to the challenges ahead.
Opposition Leader on Carmarthenshire County Council, Cllr Robert James, also paid tribute, saying: “Very sad to hearing the passing of Cllr Hag Harris, who represented Lampeter for many decades and a true gent. My thoughts are with his family and friends.”
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