George Alexander (Alec) McNichol, treasurer for The Christian Institute for 20 years, has died aged 89 after a long illness.
Mr McNichol performed the voluntary role of treasurer for the Institute from its inception in 1991, until 2011.
In 1981, he was awarded an OBE for his services to business enterprise.
As treasurer, Mr McNichol was part of the Executive Committee enabling the smooth and efficient running of the Institute. He was also the Company Secretary until 1998.
In the early days, this involved dealing with virtually all the organisation’s finances, including payroll, pension arrangements and tax.
He was the Managing Director for GKN Steelworks Ltd for many years, and chaired Team Valley Skills from 1979 until it transferred to Gateshead College.
As a respected businessman, in 1981 he was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for his role as Chairman of the South Tyneside Panel of Enterprise North.
In addition to his role at the Institute, Mr McNichol looked after the finances for a number of other charities and was regarded as both a ‘steady hand on the tiller’ and a ‘father figure’.
Colin Hart, Director of The Christian Institute, said: “Alec was not a fair-weather friend of the Institute but a friend in season and out of season.
Thoughts and prayers
“He set us up on a very good footing for years with his high standards in all our financial affairs.
“He made sure the finance side of things ran smoothly which took a huge weight off my shoulders especially in the early days of the Institute when everything was moving so fast and we were growing so quickly.
“We thank God for Alec’s life and work, and our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Evelyn.”
Mr McNichol had recently celebrated 60 years of marriage.
He will be remembered for his integrity, hospitality, patience and sense of humour.
The funeral is expected to be held in January 2016.