MARTIN Mason, for many years the South Wales Argus' political reporter died on September 24.

Beginning his working life in the Merchant Navy Martin saw service in the Second World War and carried his working life on into the 1990s.

He had freelanced in London and was for some years the editor of the South London Advertiser series, a post he quit to come to Newport.

A convivial and hearty character , Martin Mason was a newspaper journalist of the old school - quick to latch on to a story and impartial in its reporting.

His Mason on Monday Column for this newspaper during the 1980s was a masterpiece of inside knowledge leavened by a wry humour.

In his latter days Martin worked as a freelance and was a familiar and welcome sight in the newsroom.

Once seen, never forgotten is a cliche Martin would never have uttered in print but of him it remains true just the same.

Argus editor Gerry Keighley said: "Martin was a regular visitor to my office and we always had a laugh together. On behalf of all of his former colleagues I want to say how saddened we all are by his passing and what a privilege it was to know him."