I was a close friend and former council colleague of Sam Parke [formerly an independent unionist, and latterly with the TUV].
I express sympathy and that of the Mid Ulster TUV branch to his daughters and family circle on his death.
Sam Parke faithfully represented the Drum Manor council area of Cookstown District Council from 1973 until 2005, and had given great service to the electorate of that area and beyond.
I had the privilege of serving with Sam on the council from 1985 until 1993 and he said he was a dependable and loyal colleague who could be trusted at all times to stand up for the Unionist and loyalist cause.
Unionism is now at its weakest level because of poor leadership, broken promises and pledges alongside the financial scandal surrounding the RHI inquiry.
The strong, principled and honest Unionist qualities that Sam Parke had are sadly lacking within Unionism today and he was an example of what a loyalist representative should be.
Sam Parke will be sadly missed by all who knew him within Unionism and the loyal orders.
While all those who had the pleasure of knowing him have lost a loyal friend and colleague Ulster has lost one of its finest sons.
Walter Millar, TUV member and former chairman of its Mid Ulster Branch, Dungannon