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Tributes paid to Freemason and world traveller Matthew Ralston

Tributes have been paid to a ‘gentle man’ who visited more than 80 countries before settling into a happy life in Maidenhead.

Matthew Ralston died aged 88, following a short battle with cancer.

He was born in Dorset in 1929 where his father had moved to from Scotland to work as a coach trimmer, upholstering cars and boats.

His family returned to Paisley in 1932 where he went to school and completed a civil engineers degree.

He got a job with Shell as an aircraft fuel inspector which saw him travel to 80 different countries.

In 1950 he married Betty, with whom he had four children, before retiring to Wokingham. They were married 52 years before Betty died.

Mr Ralston was a member of the Shell Pensioners Association and it was here he met Ena Quick in December 2002.

After a short courtship he moved in with her at her home of 62 years in Norden Road, Maidenhead.

Ena said: “Everybody loved him. They didn’t call him a gentleman they called him a gentle man.”

Mr Ralston settled into life in Maidenhead and joined a number of clubs including the Desborough Bowling Club, the Probus Club and last year was master at the Berries Masonic Lodge.

“He was very, very happy in Maidenhead,” added Ena.

Mr Ralston died on April 16. His funeral was held at All Saints Church in Maidenhead on May 2.

He is also survived by children Anne, Joan, John and David, seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

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