WE must add our own tribute to the many being paid to Jack Birch today.

Not only did he live through most of York's century of change, he contributed greatly to its social and economic prosperity.

Businessman, councillor, magistrate, former Lord Mayor, governor of colleges and schools - he served his home city in a myriad of ways.

More than that, he was a character. Mr Birch's cheerful dynamism was never better captured than in our picture of him rowing along the Ouse, aged 90. He was a one-off, and will be sadly missed.

Updated: 10:08 Wednesday, April 16, 2003