NEWPORT toastmaster Harry Poloway has paid tribute to his wife Vicki, who died on Friday.

Born in 1916 and originally from Leeds, Mrs Poloway was the youngest of a family of 11 children. She met her husband in Blackpool while Harry worked as an engineer in the RAF during the second world war.

She worked in her father's tailor business until she married Mr Poloway in 1942 in Blackpool. Mrs Poloway, who like Mr Poloway was a member of Newport’s Hebrew congregation, was known for her volunteer work with the Red Cross, and often assisted Mr Poloway in his functions as a honorary member of the Variety Club.

He said her hobbies were her family and painting, which she took up in later life.

She died at the age of 92 peacefully in Chepstow Community Hospital, and a funeral was held at the Newport Hebrew Cemetery on Sunday [28th]. Mr Poloway said the hospital showed the "greatest care and sympathy" for her.

She leaves behind Harry, two children, three grand children and one great grandson.

Mr Poloway said he was missing her very much.

“We had never been apart for the 68 years we were married,” he said.

Harry Poloway has worked as a toastmaster in Newport for more than 50 years - and has acted as master of ceremonies for the annual St Davids Day Dinner in the House of Lords for more than 20 years.

He said Mrs Poloway was “always interested” in his work as Toastmaster. Over the years Harry has met the Dalai Lama, the Queen, Prince Charles, Henry Kissinger and many other celebrities and royalty.

Mr Poloway was unable to act as toastmaster for a fundraising lunch at the House of Lords on Monday, which was sponsored by Lord Kinnock, because of the bereavement.

He said Vicki was "proud to know I was doing my bit for the city and my country in keeping protocol up."

He added his family are grateful for friends and acquaintances who have sent condolences.

Councillor Allan Morris, who got to know Vicki through his former mayoral activities, said: "She was a delightful lady, and a life long partner of Harry's - they were very much a team. She will be sadly missed."

He asks for any donations to be given to the Royal Gwent Hospital or Chepstow Community Hospital through Tuvey Brothers funeral directors in Newport in memory of his wife.