A passionate life-long Willingdon resident who has served the community as a councillor for 30 years has been awarded the British Empire Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
Chairman Cllr John Pritchett told the Gazette it has been a privilege to serve the Willigndon residents in any way he can and thanked his wife and family for their support over the years.
Cllr Pritchett said, “This award is as much for my wife and family and the support they have always given, as it is for me”.
Cllr Pritchett attended both Willingdon Primary School and Willingdon Secondary School, joined the choir at St Mary the Virgin Willingdon as a youngster and became a Server at 14 – something he still does today.
His involvement over the years has also included playing stoolball for Willingdon and encouraging youngsters to get involved in the game.
He first became involved with Willingdon Residents’ Association in 1986 and was elected in 1987 to Willingdon and Jevington Parish Council at the first attempt.
He has also have been a member of WILLRA since 1986 and became Chairman in about 1990.
He is currently the longest serving councillor, now in his eighth term and 30th year.
Additionally he has served four terms as chairman from 1999-2003, 2007-2011 and 2011-2015 and 20015 to date.
Over the years Cllr Pritchett has endeavoured to build up the community spirit in the Parish by organising various celebrations including the Christmas Carol evenings, Millennium activities, the Golden Jubilee in 2002, and building the ceacons for special events including the most recent for the Queen’s 90th birthday.
Cllr Pritchett said, “I was delighted to be invited in 2003, to be the president of the 1st Willingdon Scouts and was presented with the 10 year Badge in 2013 from the district commissioner on behalf of the Chief Scout.
“I was myself a Scout in the same troop back in the fifties as was my son Stephen in the 70s and 80s and today it is a pleasure to support this very vibrant group.”
Cllr Pritchett is a member of the Willingdon Branch of the Royal British Legion and got involved when the Branch was threatened with closure persuading the parish council to take on the Remembrance Day parade and service.
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