VETERAN Lyme Regis councillor Stan Williams has been made an Honourary Freeman of the Town, after more than half a century of service to the community.
The honour, enshrined in a 19th century act, recognises persons of distinction and those who have delivered eminent service.
Cllr Williams, aged 86, first joined what was then known as Lyme Regis Borough Council in 1969 and played an instrumental part in the local government reorganisation of 1974. He went on the serve as Mayor of Lyme regis in the 1990s.
Councillor Williams has also played a signifiant part in the community outside of the council chamber, including in the development of the Woodmead Halls.
He also played for Lyme Regis Football Club, is a member of Lyme Regis Sailing Club and the Royal British Legion among other organisations.
The town council voted unanimously to make Stan an Honorary Freeman of the Town at this week’s meeting.
Only one other person – former town crier Phil Street – currently holds the prestigious title.
Paying tribute to Cllr Williams, the Mayor of Lyme Regis, Cllr Brian Larcombe MBE, said: “Stan’s service to Lyme Regis has been truly exceptional and it is a privilege for me as mayor to advocate the Freedom of the Town to a Lyme person; council colleague; former mayor, and someone so deserving of this very special honour.
“Stan has been a councillor since 1969; a remarkable length of service that represents a substantial personal commitment to Lyme.
“But this award is not simply about duration, it’s importantly about the personal contribution and influence Stan has brought to the council’s actions and decisions, and his work with local groups and societies, all of which has had a real and sustained impact on the town over the decades.
“It represents a lifetime of service devoted to the best interests of Lyme and its residents, both inside and outside the council chamber.
“Stan has Lyme at the heart of everything he does and, beyond council, he has also devoted considerable time to so many things, too many to list but among them, developing the Woodmead Halls to be the hugely beneficial community facility it is today, as well as making a sustained commitment to other local groups and good causes.
“It’s hard to think of an event or undertaking Stan hasn’t been at or involved in.
“A Lyme person to the core, Stan has given a lifetime to the interests of the town, from a youngster playing for the town’s football team right through to the council meeting we had only this week – the period has been extensive.
“The contribution has been remarkable, and his passion for Lyme is unrelenting.
“The most important thing, however, is the sense and perception he has brought to the council and the town’s needs; the ‘knowing of the town’ and the tireless commitment which has produced significant results and had a real and beneficial impact on Lyme and its residents; it is this that makes this special honour so truly merited.
“A personal, and representative, thank you for all you’ve done Stan, ‘Freeman of Lyme Regis’.”