Tributes To 'People's Champion' Gary Burgess

Thousands of people from across the Channel Islands and beyond have been celebrating the life of the late broadcaster Gary Burgess.

He died peacefully at Jersey Hospice Care on New Year's Day, after being diagnosed with terminal cancer two years ago.

Among those leaving tributes were Jersey's Chief Minister, Senator John Le Fondré. He says Gary's courage, wit and good humour were an inspiration to many:

Guernsey's top politician, Deputy Peter Ferbrache, says his contributions to island life will be remembered and talked about for years to come.

His predecessor, Deputy Gavin St Pier, called on islanders to 'be more Burgess' and show some of the same kindness, tolerance and optimism Gary 'carried with ease':

Jersey's External Relations Minister, and ex-Chief Minister, Senator Ian Gorst, was no stranger to being on the receiving end of some of Gary's probing questions. He says he'll be 'missed by us all':

Outside of politics, many of Gary's media colleagues - from the Channel Islands and further afield - have paid tribute.

BBC Breakfast editor, Richard Frediani, shared a fond memory of his time working with Gary on ITN's coverage of the 2015 UK General Election:

Former ITV News At 10 anchor, Alastair Stewart, also said he's sorry to have lost Gary so young:

BBC political correspondent and Radio 4 presenter Chris Mason says he recently spoke with Gary and called it 'a life-affirming exchange I'll treasure forever':

Susanna Reid, who presents Good Morning Britain, said "my love to his family and friends. I am so sorry for your loss."

Gary's media colleagues from across the Channel Islands also paid respects to a much-loved and inspirational friend:

Macmillan Jersey, which supported Gary over the last few years, says he was a friend, a supporter, a service user and a people's champion:

"First and foremost - we remember Gary Burgess as a man of principle. Someone willing to ask the questions we all wanted answers for, be it as an eloquent and unflappable journalist - spearheading important community issues, or later as someone diagnosed with terminal cancer willing to delve into the difficult conversations one in two of us may come to have in our lifetimes.

"We remember a man whose legacy (amongst others) is campaigning to raise awareness of the help offered to islanders affected by cancer - no matter if directly or indirectly. Gary's stoic, heartfelt and moving blog posts allowed us to follow this difficult journey with him, and having the island's support and well wishes during this time meant a great deal.

"At this time, we want to wish Alan and all of Gary's family and friends our condolences. His smile, laugh and that wonderful sense of humour will be sorely missed."

The charity dedicated one of its treatment rooms to Gary, after a fundraiser started in his honour raised more than £30,000

As well as supporting Macmillan, Gary also championed for greater visibility of ME and chronic fatigue syndrome.

Many other islanders and organisations have also been celebrating Gary's life and achievements.

Guernsey's Director of Public Health, Dr Nicola Brink, says he was 'an exceptional man with an exceptional career':

Local performers Nerina Pallot and Georgi Mottram likened him to 'sunshine in human form' and say he showed 'grace, humour and courage' right until the end:

Sarah Hague, the headteacher at Jersey's Les Quennevais School, says he was an 'inspirational role model' who left a great legacy:

Thousands more tributes have been paid to Gary since the news of his death was announced yesterday.

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