The man who inspired a generation of Wearside youngsters has died.
Eddie Wright, Beaver Scout Leader with the 3rd Washington Scout Group, passed away peacefully in hospital last Wednesday after a short illness.
Group Scot Leader Jonathan Chicken paid tribute to the 66-year-old from Albany, known to the youngsters as Kingfisher: "Eddie’s dedication to Scouting was unquestionable," he said.
"Making Beaver Scouting colourful, memorable and highly adventurous became his passion, and at times, his obsession.
"Themed sleepovers were adorned with the most amazing artefacts, graphics, activities and resources; closely aligned to Eddie’s creative ability from his graphic designer days.
"Never happy to sit back, Eddie constantly challenged himself and his team of volunteers to push their boundaries of what was possible. All of this, in the name of fun, challenge and adventure for the young people in his care."
Eddie's passion for his role with the group has been supported by wife Lynn and children James, Katie and Harry, said Jonathan: "Scouting’s values of integrity, respect, care and belief were dear to Eddie and fortunately for him were shared by his other family members.
"Together, Beaver Scout events became very much a family affair, extending the sense of family to the other volunteers and young leaders in the section.
"Eddie’s daughter Katie recently received her wood badge as a section leader; referring to herself recently as ‘made by Kingfisher’."
Eddie's enthusiasm had been inspirational: "As Kingfisher described his vision and sketched the blueprint of his plan, others around him would wonder if the idea was even possible - little did they know of the relentless passion and energy to imagine, source, build and paint - turning the idea into an always brilliant reality.
"The development of young people’s skills, understanding, learning and fun were always at the forefront of his mind. Never would hard work become an obstacle.
"Eddie holds a very special place in the hearts of many hundreds of young people, volunteers, parents and carers who had the privilege of knowing him during his 16 years at 3rd Washington.
"To them, Kingfisher will always be a lively, energetic and creative man who never seemed to age.
"Rest in peace Eddie. Our thoughts, prayers and love are with Lynn, James, Katie and Harry at this very sad time."
A funeral service for Eddie will be held on Wednesday, October 24, at 3pm at Saltwell Crematorium in Gateshead.
The family has requested that adult/young leader Scout members wear full uniform and that others wear bright colours to celebrate Eddie's vibrant life.
Flags from 3rd Washington will precede the coffin. Other scout group flags may be brought to form a guard of honour outside.
Please park in Saltwell Park public car park as spaces at the crematorium are reserved for the immediate family.
A celebration of Eddie's life will follow at the Stella Maris Club, Brandy Lane, Albany, Washington, NE37 1BH. Everyone is welcome.
Instead of flowers, Eddie's family have requested that donations are made to 3rd Washington Scout Group to support an annual beaver scout adventure in his memory.
Cards, notes of condolence and donations can be sent to Mrs Lynn Wright, 32 Saddleback, Albany, Washington. NE37 1BX