Presentations to Freedom of City and civic award winners
COUNCILLOR Norman Kennedy received a standing ovation when he was presented with his Freedom of the City award in front of a large audience in Wells Town Hall.
A city councillor for 38 years, Cllr Kennedy has twice been Mayor of Wells, and has also been a Mendip District councillor.
Councillor John Osman gave a citation that listed some of Cllr Kennedy’s achievements, and said: “I can think of no councillor that deserves this honour more.”
In the traditional gesture when an individual receives an Honorary Freedom of the City award, Cllr Kennedy presented current Mayor Philip Welch with a pair of white gloves and a wax candle. These items and a copy of the Freedom scroll will be kept in the City Archives.
At the Ceremonial Evening on December 4, a Freedom of the City award was also made to Wells Branch Royal British Legion. In the citation, Wells City Archivist Dr Julia Wood related the history of the branch, which is one of the oldest in the country and this year celebrated its centenary.
She praised the outstanding dedication and service of branch members for the past 100 years, and highlighted the branch’s fundraising efforts since taking part in the very first Poppy Day on November 11, 1921.
Branch President Robin Dowdeswell and Chairman Aaron Cooper-Collett went up to receive the award, and Mr Cooper-Collett said that it was thanks to people’s generosity that the branch has remained as strong as it has.
The Wells City Council Civic Awards were then presented to individuals, groups and organisations that had been nominated by the public for their service to the local community.
Those honoured were: Citizen of the Year Award: Derek Cooper, for years of outstanding voluntary services to the city; Business of the Year Award: Daniels Cafe, for their volunteering during lockdown and free meals scheme; Community Award: Wells Coronavirus Network, for their continued support to those most vulnerable within the city; Sustainability Award: Sustainable Wells, for campaigning and raising awareness of the environmental crisis; Youth Award: James Peters, for his service to St John Ambulance; Extra Mile Award: Sasha and Trina Kenniston, for their services to the community including sourcing supplies for those in need and reuniting lost pets with their owners.
Cllr Welch then made a Civic Mayoral Award to Ross Young, who has masterminded the Meet and Greet and Wells Ambassadors schemes, describing him as “one of Wells’ most valuable volunteers”, with the plaque on the award stating that it has been presented: “In recognition of his tireless efforts to boost Wells’ visitor economy”.