Tribute to Jean Cawthorne
TRIBUTE TO JEAN CAWTHORNE
Jean has announced her retirement from the Parish Council after 55 years of service, as Clerk and as a Councillor. To put that remarkable achievement into context, it is of interest to note that Jean would have become a councillor in 1965, 4 years before Neil Armstrong uttered those immortal words “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind”. It was certainly one giant leap for South Leverton when Jean became a parish councillor, taking on various responsibilities throughout her time on the council, including the duties of Clerk to the Council for 42 years.
No one has contributed more to the welfare of South Leverton than Jean Cawthorne. She was born and brought up in this village and also ran the local shop in North Leverton for many years. Throughout her life she has given loyal dedicated support to the village church and associated activities. She helped to form the existing South Leverton branch of the Women’s Institute in 1964 when she was the first secretary and begged the Institute Committee for a cheaper hall hire rate to get the WI going. At that time the Memorial Institute was struggling financially and Jean was asked to join their committee that night! Since when she has been a member of the Institute committee – going on 57 years now.
Jean has helped to organise a wide variety of functions for the benefit of village residents. Notable entertainment events include a really enjoyable recent Burns Night dinner; the Senior Citizens Christmas Lunch – which she and Peter started well over 30 years ago, taking on all the fund raising activity involved. She also instigated the annual South Leverton Craft Fayre which is held every November and musical and theatrical events including those under the Village Ventures banner. Not the least we all depend on her for the administration and control in the village of all national and local authority polling days.
Jean is an outstanding resident, and has always been prepared to put the needs of the community ahead of her own personal priorities. She worked tirelessly to obtain a grant to finance the replacement of the original village hall with the present building. Residents will recall the successful major role she played in representing the village opposition to The Beeches becoming a temporary residency for Rampton Hospital patients prior to their release. She was instrumental in preventing this proposed development from going ahead by gaining the support of residents and being prepared to engage with the press and television on behalf of the village.
All past and present South Leverton parish councillors would take this opportunity to thank Jean for the work and service she has given over the last 50 years or so. She is of course very well known, and valued as a councillor by the entire village community. This is amply demonstrated when she invariably attends council meetings with the queries, complaints and recommendations from residents who have approached her with matters they have requested her to raise on their behalf. She will be missed, and impossible to replace.
Best Wishes for the future from all your colleagues
Gerry Wareham, Gill Taylor, Gordon Muir, Becky Loates, Catherine Hoyle, Chris Buckland, Sara Stilliard