Former St Albans Mayor Gordon Myland dies

Cllr Gordon Myland was a long-time member of St Albans Mummers

Cllr Gordon Myland was a long-time member of St Albans Mummers - Credit: Archant

Colourful former St Albans Mayor, Cllr Gordon Myland, died in Watford Hospital on Tuesday morning, aged 77.

Cllr Myland, who lived in Bricket Wood, had represented St Stephen ward on the district council for the Conservatives on and off for more than 20 years and was renowned for his local knowledge and love for St Albans where he lived all his life.

Both his group leader on the council, Cllr Julian Daly, and long-time friend and Labour councillor Mal Pakenham paid tribute to him this week.

Cllr Daly said: “The thing which struck me about Gordon was that he was really proud of being St Albans born and bred and while he was no saint, he always did what he thought was right for his patch.

“I shall miss him; he was a a character. He also raised huge amounts of money for charity and probably didn’t get credit for it.”

Cllr Pakenham had known him for 26 years and although they were on different sides of the political spectrum, described him as, “an enormously generous man with his knowledge and time.”

He went on: “He raised a huge amount over the years for charity but the key fact is that he was one of the few councillors who was born and lived in St Albans. He had an enormous love for St Albans and all things St Albans ranging from the market to the Abbey.

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“Everything he did had a focus on St Albans which he cared about passionately. He sat on the planning and licensing committees and he had an encyclopediac knowledge of the issues.”

Cllr Pakenham also described Cllr Myland as, “a great friend of mine and we had the ability to be candid and honest with each other. We could have a frank and open discussion about our parties and he never betrayed my trust and I never betrayed his.”

Cllr Myland, whose father was the landlord of the Goat Inn in St Albans, was a former pupil of St Columba’s College in King Harry Lane and went on to work in the print industry. He was married twice, most recently to Eve, and had grown-up twin daughters who both live in Herts.

A member of St Albans Morris Men, he also performed every Boxing Day as the Doctor with St Albans Mummers for many years.

His mayoral year in 2004/5 was marred by controversy. He lost the mayoral chain in a city centre bar and was reported to the Standards Board of England for making comments about a barmaid at the Alban Arena while hosting a charity performance of the annual pantomime. Shortly afterwards he was barred from Verulam School after kissing female pupils at the annual prizegiving and describing it as a perk of the job.

But as Cllr Pakenham said: “He was all about St Albans and our friendship went beyond politics.”