Town mourns popular hotelier


Iwan Berry

A COMMUNITY has paid tribute to a "sorely missed" Llandudno hotelier.

John McDonald, former manager and owner of the Esplanade Hotel, died on New Year's Day just months after being diagnosed with motor neurone disease.

Daughter Kate McDonald, described her father as "one of the world's great men".

She said: "The world is now less with his loss."

She said the 66-year-old, who had run the hotel for more than 30 years, was well-regarded by the business community.

His niece Daisy Silcock, who took over the running of the hotel when he was diagnosed with the disease in August, said Mr McDonald's wife Gwenda wanted to thank everyone for their support and care shown since her husband’s death.

Paul Bream, owner of the nearby Merrion Hotel, said: "It's just desperately sad that he died so young, and he will be sorely missed.

"He had Llandudno's best interests and its heritage at heart, and he cared a lot about its community. It's a great sadness that he's gone, and we offer our heartfelt condolences to his family."

Before becoming a hotelier, Mr McDonald was a member of the naval reserves and merchant navy.

He also spent time as a crew member for the Llandudno RNLI, taking the post of Second Coxswain during the 90s and later beoming secretary, authorising launches whenever the lifeboat was called out.

Les Jones, station mechanic for Llandudno RNLI, described Mr McDonald as a generous man who always supported the crew.

He said: "He was a big supporter of the Llandudno branch. Whenever we had anyone who was up here for relief work, he always made sure they had accommodation."

John leaves wife Gwenda, children Nicola Cotton, Kate McDonald and Tom McDonald, mother-in-law Olwen Payne and four grandchildren.

His funeral will take place at midday at the Holy Trinity Church, Llandudno, on Monday January 21.

The family request that those attending the funeral wear bright clothing, and donations be given in lieu of flowers to the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

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