Described by A Rocha UK chief Steve Hughes as ‘one of our unsung heroes’, George ran a monthly prayer meeting in Southport for the charity, for more than 20 years. ‘In his lifetime he recruited many into A Rocha UK,’ said Steve.
‘No one who’d been in any of George’s home groups was unaware of his passion,’ said Dr Hugh Milligan, a longstanding member of the Southport prayer group.
George (pictured) and wife Pat were right there at the start of the international work. They were attending St Mary’s Church, Upton, when young curate Peter Harris shared his vision for Christian conservation.
Encouraged by George and others, Peter went on to start A Rocha in Portugal in 1983. As the organisation grew, George kept supporters in the north informed of developments.
At a Preston training day for A Rocha UK speakers, most delegates said it was George who’d led them into the work. ‘I‘ve had messages from several others in the A Rocha network expressing their gratefulness to have had George’s friendship and support,’ said Hugh Milligan.
An obituary by George’s daughter Elizabeth Gifford was published recently on The Guardian’s website. ‘My father was a distinguished medical scientist and served for two decades as director of the Public Health Laboratory in Liverpool,’ Elizabeth wrote.
‘His work over the years focused on developing tests to enable accurate diagnosis and suitable treatment. His doctorate dealt with whooping cough; his breakthroughs included salmonella, hepatitis, HIV and various versions of Clostridium intestinal infection.’
George is survived by daughters Anne and Elizabeth, and by two grandchildren, Peter and Michael. His wife Pat died in 2002.