BOROUGH mayor Cllr James Halden, the 48th mayor of Thurrock, recently presented an honour to the inaugural first citizen of the local council.
Margaret Jones was the then district council’s first mayor in 1974, following the reorganisation of local government.
Over many decades she has served in public office as a Thurrock councillor and also on organisations including Basildon Hospital’s governing board.
She is currently president of Thurock District Scouts.
Cllr Halden praised the service of Mrs Jones – and her husband Merlin (also a former borough mayor) – to the local community and said her commitment to serving the people of Thurrock was second to none as he added her name to the borough’s Mayoral Roll of Honour, which recognises outstanding public service.
At the same ceremony the outgoing Chief Executive of the Gateway Learning Community, Kevin Sadler, was also presented his certificate acknowledging his entry onto the role of honour.
Cllr Halden, who has worked closely in the past with Mr Sadler while education portfolio holder, paid tribute to his visonary leadership and many years of dedication to improving the quality of learning for thousands of borough children.
The courage of a Second World War veteran and his service to fellow veterans over many years was also recognised by Cllr Halden when he added the name of Jim Gooding to the Roll of Honour.
96-year-old Mr Gooding flew operationally as a rear gunner on Lancaster bombers in the war and he is a longstanding president of the Thurrock RAF Association.
His many responsibilites have included looking after the welfare of many ex service personnel and organising events – which includes the forthcoming Battle of Britain service to be held in Grays at the High Street War Memorial on Sunday, 18 September.
A fourth recipient of enrolment on the Mayor’s honours board was Nub News editor Neil Speight, who Cllr Halden praised for his service to the community in many roles.