Four residents from Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge were honoured for their outstanding service to the local community by being presented with Civic Awards by the town’s Mayor on Sunday (April 18th).

A special outdoor ceremony was led by Mayor Cllr Mike Facey in Burnham’s Marine Cove gardens, with just a handful of people present to comply with Covid restrictions.

Jan Bonus, Pauline Smith, Terry Cornelius and John Chinn received their awards from the Mayor and Deputy Mayor Cllr Andy Hodge for their service to the community.

Each was invited to attend the Marine Cove ceremony at 15-minute intervals on Sunday afternoon and no audience was invited along to keep numbers to a minimum.

The winners, chosen by Burnham and Highbridge Town Council, were picked from a list of nominees submitted by members of the public in 2020. Each year, the council recognises those people who’ve demonstrated outstanding community service, made a significant contribution to public life, and have shown real dedication in helping local residents.

Mayor Cllr Mike Facey told “These awards have been presented after initially being announced in October last year. It was my intention as Mayor for these people who put so much into our community to receive their awards as soon as possible. But with the current conditions as they are, we couldn’t hold an event indoors. We have been able to go ahead with a Covid-safe ceremony at Marine Cove instead and it has been a great pleasure for myself and the Deputy Mayor to present these awards to show our gratitude for all the voluntary work that is carried out in Burnham and Highbridge.”

Burnham & Highbridge Civic Award winners

John Chinn was nominated as a supporter of many local charities and events in Burnham-On-Sea. John has been Chairman of the Boat Owners Club, vice chairman of the Burnham and District Horticultural Society (2014-current), voluntary acting building and services manager of the Freemasons Hall and charity steward to Burnham-On-Sea’s Rural Philanthropic Lodge No 291, of which he has been a member for 27 years. He has successfully raised over £70,000 for freemason charities, nationally and locally.

Terry Cornelius was nominated for celebrating 50 years’ service with Moose International, having been Governor on four occasions. He has organised many charitable events in Burnham-On-Sea, including popular fundraising events for local community groups. Terry is the driving force behind welfare and ensuring that Moose assists the local community through its charitable actions. Since 1970 Terry has always been on a committee, holding the position of President and Chairman, and he has been Moose Secretary for seven years.

Jan Bonus was nominated as Secretary of the BAY Centre for the past five years, responsible for the admin and for successfully securing many thousands of pounds of grants, without which the centre would not have survived. Jan also helps to run the UK Online computer club at the Bay Centre, computer support for the U3A, and is Secretary of the centre’s Camera Club, organising popular competitions. Her mother, Hilda Chart, also received a Civic Award several years ago, so the family tradition continues!

Pauline Smith was nominated as Secretary of Burnham United Football Club, a role she has held for 18 years. The club’s 160 players, including an all-female team and a veterans’ team, play in three separate leagues. Pauline is responsible for ensuring that all of the club’s players are signed on, forms are correctly completed, pitches booked and fixtures organised and much more.

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