Friday, February 11, 2005

Charlie Mead - Mr Romsey

Not many people outside of Romsey will have heard of Charlie (unless they were on the receiving end of one of his Man from the Pru visits) but it was a special pleasure tonight to be at the ceremony where he was awarded an Honourary Burgess.

He is 92 and over the years has been involved in nearly every aspect of town life and it clearly meant a lot to him to be honoured in this way. His wife Eileen, always cheerfully at his side, told me that she too was overwhelmed.

He was the Mayor before me and gained a reputation for appreciating female company (in the nicest possible way) and I recall one event I attended when I had to hand out certificates. As I was leaving I overheard a conversation between two senior ladies.

"That was over nice and quick"

"Yeeesss --- I guess it's cos we didn't all have to kiss the Mayor this year!"

But beyond all of this most people will remember Charlie for his kindness and his willingness to lend a hand wherever it was needed.
My first real experience of him (apart from canvassing) was on the day I was first elected to the Borough Council. My son had accompanied husband to pollin station - fairly last minute as usual. They arrived home (which was being used as a committee room) and Nick was in a terrible state as he had fallen off his bike and into a heap of stinging nettles). My patent remedies did not work and Charlie despatched Cllr Buckmaster to go and find some dock leaves. The dock leaves worked where modern medicine failed but Charlies words to me were "We Liberal Democrats look after each other"
He was right of course but ultimately Charlied aim in life was to look after everyone as best he could.

A lovely evening.