Wiltshire Publications

Westbury stalwarts recognised

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Pictured left to right, Cadet of the Year Katlin Simons; mayor David Windess; Mike Pearce; Poppy Appeal organiser Bill Prior; and Westbury Lion David Firth

Pictured left to right, Cadet of the Year Katlin Simons; mayor David Windess; Mike Pearce; Poppy Appeal organiser Bill Prior; and Westbury Lion David Firth

CIVIC awards have been presented to Westbury people to thank them for their contribution to the town over the past year. 

Mayor of Westbury, cllr David Windess presented the awards to community stalwart Mike Pearce; Poppy Appeal organiser Bill Prior; and Westbury Lion David Firth at the mayor’s reception on Friday 14th March, while a cadet of the year award was presented to Katlin Simons.

Cllr Windess presented the awards to all the winners and said, “It gives me great pleasure in presenting these awards to members of our town who work so hard for us all.”

Mike Pearce was awarded the first prize of the evening in recognition of his involvement in the town’s twinning organisations, the Westbury Laverton Housing Trust, West Wilts Walk for Health, The Westbury Music & Arts Festival and the Westbury Lions.   He is also known for his love of apples, being a founder member of the Bratton Community Orchard.

Mayor, cllr Windess said, “Mike is a kind man who appears everywhere and is always doing something for someone with no fuss or no noise. A former town councillor, deputy mayor and mayor, his commitment to our town was never more prominent than when he led the town council’s campaign to try and save Westbury hospital.”

Bill Prior won the second award of the evening for his involvement with the Royal British Legion. He is he poppy organiser for Westbury and he makes sure that all of the poppy boxes are filled and delivered around the town and surrounding areas and donations collected afterwards.   He also makes sure all of the wreaths ordered by various organisations for the Remembrance Parade are delivered to the local shops for display.

The mayor said of Bill, “He is a man that The Royal British Legion would find it hard to do without.

“He can be regularly seen at the war memorial in Edward Street, keeping it clean and tidy and removing any litter and many of you will have seen him at the Westbury Heritage Centre where he is a regular helper. He joined St John’s Ambulance Brigade in 1980 and worked his way up to the rank of superintendant and attended most of the events in the town and surrounding areas, giving first aid where necessary.   After he retired, he joined the fellowship of St John’s Ambulance and went on to help with first aid classes in the town.”

David Firth was the third prize winner as he was recognised for his involvement with Westbury Lions as well as many more community projects.

Mayor Windess said of David, “The good work he has carried out with Westbury Lions in our local community is very well known; The Christmas floats, stalls, street fairs and the Donkey Derbies to name just a few.   But, few people realise just how much time is involved in making these things happen.   Countless hours are given to ensuring music competitions run smoothly, compering senior citizens parties and collecting along with the Christmas floats.

“He is also the UK Lions Patron Liaison Officer for the Countess of Wessex, which gives him greater knowledge and a wider perspective of the work of Lions clubs nationally and internationally. Although a Trowbridge resident, he is dedicated to our town and spends much of his free time here with his children and grandchildren living in the town.   But for more than 30 years he has been actively involved in raising approximately £200,000 for needy causes whether they are local organisations or international disasters.”

The awards were rounded off with the Cadet of the Year being announced as Katlin Simons.

Cllr Windess said, “Here at Westbury Town Council we feel it is important to give praise and encouragement to the youth of our town. Westbury Air Training Corps is a vibrant, active group within our community. The cadets take part in a variety of fantastic events from shooting to walking to annual camps and visits to active RAF stations.

“This cadet unit shows great team spirit and continues to produce amazing cadets who are all a great example of what young people can achieve.

“But Katlin stands out for her great positive attitude. When you want someone to get involved she is always there.  She participates in activities both inside and outside of the squadron and during exercises she is always to the fore and she has one of the highest attendances in the squadron.”

Cllr David Windess also thanked all the town hall team for their hard work throughout the year and in organising his reception.