Community champion fights back tears as he is honoured by borough

13/6/2011'Derek Townsend showing a paper clipping where he appeard in the Gazette in May 1971
13/6/2011'Derek Townsend showing a paper clipping where he appeard in the Gazette in May 1971
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COMMUNITY stalwart Derek Townsend became choked with emotion as he was honoured by being made a Freeman of the Borough.

Mr Townsend, who was given a standing ovation at a full meeting of Dacorum Borough Council, told councillors he was delighted to join a select group of just seven people to receive the highest accolade the borough can bestow.

“Everything I have done for the borough I have enjoyed immensely,” he said.

“I couldn’t have done it without the support of my wife and family.

“I thank you sincerely for the honour you have bestowed on me.”

Former mayor Roger Taylor, who proposed the resolution to award the honour, told the meeting: “It’s given by the council as a mark of distinction for Derek’s work.

“You have put your heart and soul and your family into our borough.

“Such commitment is extraordinary and we feel you have really shown just what commitment is.”

Councillor Penny Hearn, seconding the resolution, said: “Derek has been an outstanding councillor – an example to all. There are few people who have supported Tring like Derek Townsend.”

Mr Townsend, a Deputy Lieutenant for Herts, is involved with countless charities and was a councillor for 40 years.

The title of freeman goes back to medieval times when certain citizens were granted privileges above their feudal counterparts.