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Tributes to a 'true gentleman' who loved to wear hats at Kenneth More theatre, Ilford

PUBLISHED: 13:00 11 May 2017 | UPDATED: 13:36 11 May 2017

Richard 'Dick' Porter loved to wear hats. Picture Loraine Porter

Richard 'Dick' Porter loved to wear hats. Picture Loraine Porter

KMT

Tributes have poured in for a theatre worker who "loved unconditionally" and shaped the lives of his family and many young people in the borough.

Dick as a young man.Dick as a young man.

A “true gentleman” who loved to wear hats, Richard “Dick” Porter worked on the stage door and greeted theatre-goers at the Kenneth More Theatre (KMT), Oakfield Road, Ilford.

He died last month aged 93, and family and friends celebrated Dick’s life at his funeral last week. His daughter Loraine Porter said he worked there for 40 years and was a real people person who everybody liked.

“He would always encourage people and was still in contact with work experience kids he had helped,” she said. “My dad was all about family and he saw the theatre as part of it.”

Cllr Barbara White, a board member at the KMT, said: “He was a tower of strength to the KMT and did an unbelievable amount of work for them which as time went on involved his family who still do so much to keep the theatre alive.

Dick playing table tennisDick playing table tennis

“We thank Dick for being such a true gentleman and the values that he passed on to his family.”

Steven Day and Sally Woodfield, who run the KMT, paid tribute to their colleague.

In a joint statement they

said that Dick will be

missed terribly by all those who visited and performed.

“He was not only a work colleague but we were also lucky enough to call him a friend and a ‘best one’ at that,” they said.

“His support, dedication, love and generosity for all of his friends will never be beaten and we will truly miss his love of life.

“His work ethic was unparalleled and to still be working at 93 was a testament to the man he was. A true gent.”

Dick’s granddaughter Tami Stone said he was a perfect family man.

She said: “The other passion in his life was his Palmerstone family. He loved his Saturday mornings watching them dance.

“We managed to get him to one last competition and he saw Zac (his great-grandson) do the Grand Old Duke of York.”

He is survived by two children, three grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

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