TRIBUTES have been paid to a former vicar of Malton who dedicated more than 25 years of his life to looking after the Ryedale community.

Shropshire born Ronald Treasure, of Kirkbymoorside died at the age of 90 and was vicar at St Michael's Parish Church, Malton for 27 years and continued to support Ryedale churches during most of his retirement.

Mr Treasure, who was married to wife Eliza for 65 years, wanted to become a vicar from the age of 17 but was drafted in to serve in the Coldstream Guards during the Second World War where he served during the Invasion of Normandy just ten days after D-Day. Shortly afterwards, he was injured and sent home on a ship where he narrowly escaped drowning when the boat hit a land mine but he managed to escape on a lifeboat.

After recovering from his injuries he served in Germany before getting an early release so that he could attend Oxford University for two years followed by a year at Cuddesdon Theology College where he trained before becoming ordained in 1948.

His first post was curate at St Mary's Parish Church, Whitby before moving to Hull where he built a new church in the community. He then moved to Ryedale and became the vicar of Malton in 1962. He retired in 1989.

His wife Eliza said that her husband, whom she met through her cousin on a sailing trip to Norway, continued to help out in the community even when he was retired and that he loved Malton.

She said: "He loved God and the church was his passion. He loved Malton and he loved living in Kirkbymoorside as well. He thought that Kirby was such a wonderful community."

Ronald had celebrated his 90th birthday alongside his twin sister Pamela Briggs in February and Eliza recalled fond memories of the celebrations with their six children and 17 grandchildren.

She said: "The celebrations were fantastic. He had five different birthday cakes, two of which were made by grandchildren. There were 41 of us, which is the whole family, at the second celebration we held for it.

"Ron loved walking and that was our great interest together. We went walking in the Alps until we were too old to do it then we went on walks in the Yorkshire Dales and Cumbria. Our last walk was up the Nidderdale Valley."

Ronald's funeral was held at All Saints Church, Kirkbymoorside and was attended by more than 100 people.