Tributes have been paid to a St John Ambulance volunteer driver and first aid trainer who died on Thursday, aged 70.
Mark Saberton, of Bury St Edmunds, was involved with the charity for more than 30 years, being presented with a major award just last Tuesday.
As Mark was unable to travel to London to receive the award, senior officers from St John Ambulance visited him at West Suffolk Hospital to present him with the Membership of the Order of St John – a Royal order of chivalry personally approved by the Queen.
This week, Mark’s family described him as a ‘good citizen’.
“Mark was with us for 70 years. He had hoped for another 20 or more – non-smoker, low BMI, always active – but it wasn’t to be,” said a family tribute. “Loyal to his sister, niece, nephew and their children. Train and tram enthusiast since boyhood. Always a good day with a rover ticket in hand.”
His family added that Mark was a blood donor, volunteer driver and first responder for his area, who particularly enjoyed St John Ambulance duties at Newmarket Races.
Tony Curd, district manager for St John Ambulance in Suffolk, said Mark was a highly-valued colleague and vital member of the Bury unit who was known for his presence at Newmarket Races and Bury Christmas Fayre.
“He set very high standards, constantly going above and beyond,” said Tony.
“He will be very sadly missed by everyone who knew him in the St John Ambulance family and, for me, presenting him with his well-deserved Membership of the Order of St John was an absolute privilege.”