TRIBUTES have been paid to a former Torfaen mayoress and Cwmbran Community Council chairwoman said to have been “highly committed to the community”.

Maris James died on February 4, aged 82, following an illness.

He husband of 61 years, Aneurin James, better known as Nye – who was the mayor of Torfaen in 2008/2009 – said he “owed her everything”.

“She was a truly wonderful woman, a wonderful mother and a wonderful councillor,” he said.

“She was a devout Christian and a woman of real integrity. She passed that on to our five children, and it informed her community work as a councillor.

“I’m so proud of her. The letters I’ve received on her behalf from councillors and MPs show how highly she was regarded.”

The pair moved to Pontnewydd 59 years ago, shortly after getting married. They have several grandchildren and one great-grandson.

Mr James said his wife – a community councillor for 16 years, and chairwoman of Cwmbran council for the year 1987/88 – was most proud of her work with school choirs, and fighting for local play schemes.

She was also a loyal member of the congregation at St Gabriel’s Church.

Current Cwmbran Community Council chairman Cllr Bill Walker served on the council with her.

He called her “very community minded”.

“Nye and Maris were marvellous councillors,” he said.

“Maris was such a dedicated woman. You don’t find many like her.”

The funeral was held on Tuesday at St Gabriel’s.

In a eulogy, her daughter Carol read: “She taught us to respect others, to value education and to work hard and be ambitious.

“She delighted in her children’s and grandchildren’s achievements and loved to hear the latest bits of news about their lives.

“Mam was a committed participant in whatever she did. She played an active part in the Labour Party as councillor and chairwoman of the council, supported Dad’s political career, and thoroughly enjoyed their time as mayor and mayoress.

“She would be overwhelmed by the number of people who have turned out but also really happy to see her family all together.”