Tributes have been paid to a respected teacher who made a big contribution to the French language in the town.

Ray Everley died on February 14, aged 93.

Mr Everley was a foreign languages teacher at the Sir John Colfox Academy, a member of the Bridport/St Vaast la Houge Twinning Association, as well as honorary secretary of Bridport Men’s Swimming Club when there were races in the River Britt before the leisure centre was built.

He moved to Bridport with his wife, Ellaline, in 1966 so that their four children could grow up here.

He became and remained head of modern languages at Colfox for 25 years and ran primary school trips to St Vaast for a number of years

His daughter Christine said: “He was a very modest man who considered himself insufficiently charismatic to be president of the twinning association, but he was asked so he steadily played the part for a while.

“He was also deeply egalitarian, believing everyone deserved an equal chance to learn a foreign language or to learn to swim. I think it made him respected as a teacher that he was so steady and that people understood that he valued equally skills in all areas - athletics as much as algebra, carpentry as much as chemistry, music as much as his own modern languages.”

As part of his time with the twinning association, Ray would organise the annual trips, find hosts for the visitors and arrange a programme of events for them, as well as organising trips when the group visited France.

He also started and led a French Conversation Group, which is still going strong 40 years later.

Mike Farmer, chairman of the Bridport/St Vaast la Hougue Twinning Association, said: “He was always meticulous in his planning and, with his excellent French, maintained extremely good relations with our St Vaast friends.

“Ray had a real talent for organisation and a passion for French language and culture, there are many amongst us who have benefitted from his wide knowledge, always imparted in his typically modest and friendly fashion.

“Ray became president of the association in which position his continued involvement with twinning was of great service.

“He was much cherished and will be greatly missed. Our sympathy goes out to Ella and Ray’s family.”