Parish council chairman steps down after 45 years' service to Seahouses
A stalwart of the Seahouses community has said goodbye to his parish council commitments after 45 years’ service.
Geoffrey Stewart joined North Sunderland Parish Council in 1976 and has spent the past 24 years as its chairman.
In his farewell speech to parish councillors at Monday night’s AGM, the first face-to-face meeting in over a year, he said: “I have always been conscious of my heritage and sense of belonging to this village and also had the very early example of my grandfather being clerk to Belford Rural District Council (as it was then) which has undoubtedly set me on this amazing path in life.
“I clearly recall that for two years prior to joining, I would come to the monthly meetings just to observe and comprehend what a commitment it would be and what being a parish councillor would entail and I must say, the examples set by several of those councillors/chairs particularly impressed me such as Rev Grice Hutchinson, Andrew Brown and George Scott whose capabilities in office were very instructive for my own time as chair.”
He then spoke about a few of the memorable events and council achievements he had been particularly involved with.
These included guardianship of the cemetery ‘which I am proud to say has secure funds for its future excellent maintenance and any future expansion’, Development Trust projects in which over many years the council have had an integral and supportive part to play and the Fisherman ‘Rescue’ Statue which he fought for when the plinth stood empty for so long.
Other highlights included researching Second World War last resting places of local men particularly in 2000 when representing the parish council at memorial remembrance
services, his involvement in the development pf the Coastal Path and the village history millennium film initiated by Jimmy France.
There had also been campaigns for the reinstatement of the civic recycling skips and the tourist information centre.
He concluded: “So, as this significant period in my life closes, I wish you all well and I look forward to quietly observing the continuing good works that those who continue after me will achieve. Thankyou.”