Tributes paid to carnival stalwart Rob Waller
- Credit: Archant
Tributes have been paid to a former Exmouth Carnival organiser, described as a man who ‘loved to help people’.
Robin Waller, known as Rob, who has died aged 73, was the face of the annual celebration for decades.
But that was just one of the local causes he was involved in, alongside a career spent working for First Great Western.
His wife Caroline said: “Robin was a fantastic husband, father and grandfather.
“He was a loyal and faithful friend who loved to help people.
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“He spent his life involved in the community, as well as being a staunch supporter and fundraiser for various charities, including ELF, Exeter PHAB, Exmouth, Exeter and Budleigh carnivals, as well as Devon Freewheelers. He was a great man and will be sadly missed by everyone who knew him.”
News of Rob’s death has attracted tributes from across the carnival community.
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He had been involved with the Exeter Carnival committee and majorettes before joining Exmouth.
An Exmouth Carnival committee spokesperson said: “Rob Waller was Exmouth Carnival’s procession organiser for many years until five years ago when he retired on ill health grounds.
“He was a ‘carnivalite’ through and through and was always cheerful and welcoming and continued to support the new Exmouth Carnival committee at fundraising events, even though his health was deteriorating.
“Rob was made an honorary member of Exmouth Carnival for his services and generous contribution to the carnival community over many years (1963 – 2013) and was presented with a certificate by Councillor Stuart Hughes at our spring fun day in May 2013.
“The carnival community has lost one of its stalwarts and he will be greatly missed.
“Our thoughts and condolences are with his family.”
Julie and Nigel Meredith, of Budleigh Carnival committee, said: “Budleigh Salterton Carnival Club will miss their faithful friend very much.
“For the last five years, Rob used to help with the electrics and oversee the float build.
“He used to attend every carnival procession and ring on the Sunday to see how they did.
“Then, every Monday, he would turn up and help fix/maintain/improve the float for the following week’s carnival.
“He was a loyal supporter of the club and he would always attend every fundraising event they held - no matter how ill he was.
“Rob was very community minded; he helped marshal the Reindeer Run at Otterton and the Budleigh late-night shopping event every year.
“Budleigh Salterton Carnival Club is sponsoring a trophy in Rob’s name - The Rob Waller Memorial Trophy - for the ‘most entertaining local entry’ in honour of their faithful, loyal and personal friend.”
Irene Hone and Avril Dunn, of Brixington Ladies, said: “For 15-plus years Rob ran a 10-day carnival event every year in Elizabeth Hall with Brixington Ladies doing the catering.
“The Brixington Ladies have many happy memories of Rob Waller. Avril knew him for 40 years.
“He will be missed greatly by them.”