NIGEL Leith, a founding member of the Albury Citizens and Ratepayers Movement, has died suddenly in Albury, aged 51.
Mr Leith was found dead at home this week after concerns were raised about his wellbeing from an overseas business partner.
The movement’s founder and former Albury councillor John Emmery said Mr Leith had been booked to travel to Thailand.
The group has fielded candidates at the past two city council elections, with two endorsed candidates, Philomena Sawyer and current councillor Ross Jackson winning spots.
Mr Leith was on a ticket with Mrs Sawyer and Mr Emmery in 2008 and was campaign manager for Cr Jackson two years ago.
“He was passionate about life and things he believed in,” Mr Emmery said.
“He grew tired of the corporate world and developed great suspicions of it.”
Mr Emmery said Mr Leith had business interests in Canada but had a soft spot for Albury, lobbying to keep the Uiver and Cumberoona.
He had been worshipful master of the Farrer Masonic Lodge since 2012.
During the 2012 election campaign, Mr Leith helped distribute pamphlets mocking another candidate, Henk van de Ven.
“He was a cheeky bugger,” Mr Emmery said of that incident.
Cr Jackson paid tribute to Mr Leith, saying he was a “fantastic friend”.
“Nigel will never stand accused of not living life on his own terms, “ he said.
“He had interests all over the world and was well-seasoned in travelling.
“I am thankful that I had a friend like Nigel.
“I know family, friends and community groups will miss his knowledge and charisma.
“He dedicated himself to his profession which saw him become an international leader within it.”
Mr Leith is survived by his sister, Jennie.