Falmouth’s veteran councillor, Geoffrey Evans, who has notched up 40 years service to the community, was the toast of the council chamber after he chaired his final meeting as mayor – for now at least.

Mr Evans will wear the mayoral chains and robes at the start of next Monday’s town council meeting but will soon be handing them over to his successor, John Body, who is his deputy.

After last week’s full council meeting, Mr Evans’ council colleagues raised a glass to him in the mayor’s parlour. Candy Atherton said to him: “Thank you very, very much for all you have done and for being a great mayor, but I’m sure we are still going to work you hard.”

Mr Evans, who turned 70 at Christmas, was first elected onto Falmouth Town Council in 1974 and also spent time as a member of Carrick District Council and the former Cornwall County Council. He has represented the Arwenack district on Cornwall Council since its creation.

He became mayor for the first time in 1976 and held the office until 1979, but obviously got a liking for the role as he went on to serve as mayor again between 1993 and 1995, 2000 to 2002 and from 2009 until now.

For much of this time, Mr Evans, who has three children and is a grandfather, also held down a job at Falmouth Docks where he started as an apprentice in 1960 and later became maintenance chargehand before taking control of the pump room. He retired in 2008 after almost 50 years at the yard.

Once he relinquishes the responsibilities of mayor on Monday, Mr Evans is looking forward to having some spare time. “It’s been a long stint this time,” he said. “I didn’t expect to stay as long as I have, but we now have a united council and it’s time to hand over. I am not going anywhere though – I shall still be here to keep an eye on them all,” he joked.