Thank you to Richard Lee
The year that Richard arrived in Egremont I was Chair of the Town council and my colleague was Mayor of Copeland, it was that terrible year of the shootings and in our civic roles we had to deal with the press and try to help the local residents deal with their feelings of pain, anger, grief, disbelief mixed with lots of emotions, and then we found Richard Lee. My colleagues and I really felt he was a blessing to us and definitely to our Town and indeed to Copeland. His professionalism and knowledge of dealing with situations of large scale grief and dismay was invaluable to us, and certainly this Town will never be able to repay what he did in that week and the many weeks that followed. Richard has been there for the town during other meaningful and catastrophic events like the floods where people needed someone to listen to them and understand their grief of a different kind but never the less as real to them. I should also mention all the other events in the town that Richard has played his part in from the Crab Fairs and the Christmas events where he brought cheer with mulled wine, and to the remembrance Sundays, children’s school carol services and other special days that were marked in the Town the latest one being the event for Merchant Seaman. Those events may have been classed as part of his role but Richard became part of Egremont and the people and because of his wish to improve Egremont worked with the Town Council on lots of other issues like fly tipping and one of his bug bears was parking on the pavements and rightly so, he was constantly in the
Town Council Offices trying to get things done that would improve the lives of the residents of Egremont and soon became our 11th councillor. Richard further honoured the Town by becoming the High Sheriff of Cumbria in a ceremony in Carlisle Cathedral which I and my colleague Michael McVeigh were honoured to attend. This role helped to bring positive spotlight on our town. I used to see Richard walking up the street on most days just to chat with people and he always stopped to talk to the same group of men that congregate daily outside of the Coop and try to “put the world right”. Richard has become an important part of the lives of all residents of our parish which includes Bigrigg, Moor Row and the villages surrounding and we will be poorer without him. Although I feel it is not enough I would like to say Thank you Richard you certainly will be a hard act to follow. On behalf of the Town Council I would like to present you with a small gift and a big thank you and the towns’ best wishes for a happy retirement.