June 26, 2005
Civic awards handed out to four residents who serve our community
Four leading figures from Burnham and Highbridge received civic awards for their service to the community on Sunday June 26th.
The awards were presented at the Annual Civic Service in St Andrew’s Church, attended by MP David Heatcoat-Amory and more than 200 community leaders and representatives from groups across the two towns.
Our photo shows the recepients Dave Perrett, Mrs Alex Davies, Mrs Di Monaghan and Christine Chapman (nee Deacon) who stood in for Steve Fear, alongside Mayor Eric Gill, Mayoress Gillian Gill and Kerry Rickards, the district council chief executive.
The service was preceded by a procession of civic dignitaries from Burnham’s Princess Hall to the church and then followed by a Civic Reception in the Manor Gardens.
During the service, Reverend Graham Witts (vicar of St Andrew’s) paid tribute to the numerous people who are involved in community work, not just in Burnham and Highbridge but around the world.
He mentioned how the Internet has created a global community where people can easily follow controversial issues not covered in the mainstream media. Drawing on the atrocities being carried out in Zimbabwe as an example, he stressed the importance of building a responsible community around the world. He also mentioned the importance of the upcoming G8 Conference, at which poverty will be a key issue.
MP David Heathcoat-Amory and Cllr Jean Whitehouse both read readings while Burnham and Highbridge Choral Society performed ‘Brother James Air’ before leading the congregation in the hymn ‘Old Hundreth’.
After the civic awards were handed to the recepients by Mayor Eric Gill and Kerry Rickards of Sedgemoor District Council, prayers were led by Revd Stephen Hill and the national anthem closed the service. A collection was made on behalf of the RNLI and BARB.
The 2005 Burnham and Highbridge civic award recepients were:
. Dave Perrett
Mr Dave Perrett has been involved with the Britain in Bloom committee, in one capacity or another, be it treasurer, secretary, or vice-Chairman, for at least 15 years.
He has worked tirelessly in co-ordinating hanging baskets in the town centres of Burnham and Highbridge, as well as co-ordinating floral competitions for local schools, private houses and businesses, holiday parks, and co-ordinating entries into the South West in Bloom competition. It can be truly said that without his continued involvement, our towns would not look as lovely as they do in full summer.
It has been said that civic awards should be presented to those who have brought worthwhile prestige to the twin towns of Burnham and Highbridge, and in this respect, Mr Perrett certainly deserves this accolade.
. Steve Fear
Mr Steve Fear has been nominated for his fundraising for meningitis research in memory of his niece, Sophie Deacon, who died from meningitis in 1993.
Since 1994 Mr Fear has been part of a partnership with Steve Dayman from North Bristol that has raised over £1 million pounds for Spencer Davies Meningitis UK, an organisation which funds research into this dreadful disease at laboratories in Bristol, Oxford and St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington.
He does this largely by undertaking sponsored walks the length and breadth of Great Britain. This has benefited a great many families, including local families, dealing with this life-threatening illness.
. Mrs Alex Davies
Despite having a large family of her own, Mrs Alex Davies still finds time to help local children in a number of ways.
For many years she has been involved with swimming for disabled children. She is also one of the founder members of the Friends of the Children’s Hospice group based in Highbridge, helping with various fundraising activities.
The local Infant School also benefits from her help with listening to children read, and she also helps with fund raising for children’s activities at St Johns Church.
Mrs Davies organises and prepares refreshments for competitors and visitors during the week long Highbridge Festival of Arts.
Finally, and by no means least, Mrs Davies helps children with craftwork and cookery at the BAY Centre during the school holidays.
. Mrs Di Monaghan
Mrs Di Monaghan was nominated for her tireless work for the community, particularly for young people.
She was the co-founder of the K.A.S. kids, a nursery school based at the King Alfred School in Highbridge and campaigned to raise funds for equipment and improvements in the provision for pre-school children at the nursery.
More recently Mrs Monaghan has been involved in the running of the BAY Centre in Cassis Close. She has been responsible for overseeing many improvements to the fabric of the building, and driving the committee to obtain as many grants as possible to restore the building to its present very useable condition.
So much has been achieved by her committee that some 20 clubs, involving some 300-400 people, use the BAY Centre every week.