TRIBUTES have poured in for a much-loved Port Glasgow man who has sadly passed away aged 79.

Donald 'Donnie' McDonald, who has been involved in the Inverclyde Music Festival for over 30 years died suddenly in Inverclyde Royal Hospital after a short illness.

Festival organiser and Donald's long-term friend Isabel Lind says the proud Portonian, who was vice-president of the competition, was so devoted to it that he was still making arrangements for the upcoming event from his hospital bed.

She told our sister title The Greenock Telegraph: "It is absolutely tragic that we have lost Donald, he has been such an important part of the Inverclyde Music Festival and also the wider community.

"He was a true gentleman and Port Glasgow was very important to him.

"We are all absolutely devastated to hear of his passing, he was very well liked and brought joy to the festival each year.

"He will truly be missed by us all."

As well as his role within the music festival, Donald acted as chief invigilator during exam season at Port Glasgow High School.

The popular Port man, who lived in the town his whole life, was a keen member of the choir at New Parish Church and a familiar face in the George Square players.

He was the longest-serving elder at his Port church, where he'd been a member since his baptism in 1942.

He received two long service certificates from the moderator of the Church of Scotland, one for 30 years and one for 50 years.

Minister Rev William Boyle says the pensioner's passing has left the Port congregation 'heartbroken'.

He added: "The church was hugely important to Donnie, it has been part of his whole life from when he was baptised as a child in the congregational church in Port Glasgow.

"It is very difficult to imagine our building without him, as he was always there from the days it was called the old parish, to St Andrew's and now New Parish.

"Not only did he attend every Sunday service but he also volunteered for everything in support of his church and our amazing town.

"As a brand new minister, he was of great support to me as I began my new role.

"He was a well-loved member of our church family and we were all heartbroken when we heard that he had passed away."