The two standard-bearers, the Mayor of Okehampton and his new cadet

Okehampton Mayor accepts votes for a second year

Ross Tibbles
Ross Tibbles

Cllr Bob Tolley, Mayor of Okehampton, was pleased to be voted as Mayor for a second year in a ceremony held at Charter Hall recently. The proposal was made by Cllr Matravers and seconded by Cllr Yelland, with Cllr Matravers saying he believed one year was not long enough for Mayor Tolley to complete all the good works he had in mind, and that the Mayor should be given the opportunity to stay in the role for a while longer.

Bill and Olive Hennessey, awarded for their work in keeping the environs of Okehampton and the Okement rivers clean and tidy 

Mayor Tolley explained that the normal process would be for the outgoing Mayor to make a speech, followed by the speech of the incoming Mayor.  
He said; “I have, during this term, attended as many events as possible, with the view to supporting those events, group or cause, and attracting publicity in doing so.

‘I have met so many wonderful people over the last twelve months, some of whom we’ll recognise shortly, who simply love the town and community, and do what they have to, to make their bit of it work. They are the beating heart of this town.

‘I would wish to thank my fellow councillors for their support and wise council. And finally, can I wish the incoming Mayor all the best for his tenure. I’ve heard he’s a jolly good bloke and as unbelievable as it may seem, it’s said that he’s better looking than me.”

The Mayor, with great jollity, then gave his ‘Incoming Mayor’s’ speech.
“Firstly, I would like to thank the outgoing Mayor for his kind words and sterling work over the past year. And, although I’m about one minute older than he when he was Mayor, it is true – I am better looking. Secondly, and seriously, can I thank my fellow councillors for their work over that same period, for their support and hopefully not misplaced confidence in re-electing me to this prestigious post.”

Former publisher of The Moorlander, Eric Partridge receiving his award

The Mayor named his chosen cadet for the upcoming year and said that his chosen charity would once again be Dream-Away.  

He continued: “My predecessors for the previous five years have all been taken from the ranks of our fine lady councillors and we all know ladies can multi-task. I know my limitations. I will be a brilliant uni-tasker. Although I will still chair the town council meetings, support and manage the town council and its staff and attend and support as many local organisations and charities as I can, I will only have one civic task. I will, with my time in this position, whether in town or attending civic events, continue to foster and promote this great town of Okehampton, its community and its rich history and heritage.  

‘Rather than fretting about what we have no control over, I propose to concentrate on what we do have control [over], and do it very well. I will do my very best to uphold the office of Mayor to the best of my ability and with the help and support of my council colleagues, move the town forward to bigger and better things, and hopefully become a positive example of what a community-minded town councillor can be.”

The Mayor then went on to present five Mayoral Awards to people who were recognised as contributing outstandingly to the local community. The awards were presented to:  
Chrissie Read, in recognition of her work and commitment to the young people of Okehampton;
Bill and Olive Hennessey, in recognition of the large contribution they have made keeping the environs of Okehampton and the Okement rivers clean and tidy for the enjoyment of residents;
Rodney Woods, in recognition of all his hard work in keeping the streets clean and helping to make Okehampton a beautiful place;
Eric Partridge, in acknowledgement of his dedication to the positive reporting of key events in Okehampton through the media;
Rebecca Taylor, in recognition of her service to Okehampton Town Council in the role of Mayor’s Cadet for the 2021/22 Mayoral Year;
Dennis Russell, in recognition of his many years of voluntary work for the Royal British Legion Club.