Town mayor rewards servants at annual meeting

TOWN mayor Cllr Martin Beaver honoured those that have served Royston at the annual town meeting on Thursday evening by giving out his Community Service Awards.

District, town and country councillors past and present, town centre manager Geraint Burnell, vicar of Royston Parish Church Les Harman and around 50 members of the public attended the meeting at the town hall.

Cllr Beaver started by reading an emotional speech, which thanked the people of Royston for the opportunity to serve as mayor.

He then honoured six local individuals or groups that have served the community, by awarding them his Community Service Awards.

Zoe Barfield, teacher at dance group Royston Electralites for 13 years, was the first to be commemorated by Cllr Beaver, who praised her “drive and determination.”

Ignite Youth Group co-ordinator Margaret MacCormack was next up Cllr Beaver said of her: “She is an example of someone who has put herself before others and is a shining beacon in the town.”

Cllr Beaver urged the audience to contact his next choice, the Royston charity Heathland’s Animal Sanctuary, if they are considering acquiring a pet.

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“A personal indulgence,” was how Cllr Beaver described his next choice, Dr John Hedges.

“I must personally thank him for getting me back to health when I thought all was lost,” he said. “His service over the years to the people of Royston has been immense. I am so proud to be able to give him this award.”

There was high praise too for Les Harman, vicar of Royston Parish Church, who is due to retire later this year after 15 years in the town.

“He has been one of the kindest and most generous people I have had the pleasure to meet, and has been a pillar of our community,” said Cllr Beaver.

Secretary of Royston Tennis Club Christine Knight was commended for her “gargantuan achievement” in pushing through the building of the new club facility.

Finally, there was a special award for town councillor and former mayor F. John Smith, who marks 50 years of service to the town this year.

Cllr Beaver said: “He is a truly outstanding individual who has served the town in so many ways.

“His wisdom, knowledge, devotion to Royston is truly amazing. He continues to serve it today but it would be remiss of me not to celebrate an outstanding achievement.”

For more pictures, see Thursday’s Crow.