Town Medal Awarded to Carolyn and Ernie

Ernie Povey and the late Carolyn Molyneux were the recipients of Town Medals from 2020 which were presented this week by Henley Mayor.

The presentation of the medals was very delayed due to Covid and also due to Carolyn’s poor health.  Carolyn sadly lost her battle to cancer last May and so her son Sam accepted the Town Medal on behalf of the family.

Henley Mayor, Councillor Michelle Thomas presented the awards saying, “These two are extremely deserving individuals.  The award is a prestigious honour bestowed on someone who has made an outstanding contribution to the local community. In the criteria it says,  ‘Henley Town Council award a Town Medal to a person who has enhanced the status of the town and the wellbeing of its residents for a period of at least ten years by their clearly evidence links with the town or its organisations.  These individuals have significantly contributed above and beyond the call of duty to the sustainable wellbeing of the town and its residents and all organisations.  They will be of mature and good character and positive role models of all the citizens of the town.’  My own take on what gravitas this award has is its simple recognition of the quiet and humble voluntary work.”

Carolyn was nominated for her charitable work for the Mencap, Sue Ryder, Regatta for Disabled and other local charities and was a key member of the Living Advent Calendar team.  She was also a keen promoter of small businesses and ran the Regatta and Christmas window display competitions. In the nomination, Councillor Ken Arlett said,  “Carolyn was truly a Henley Champion.”

After receiving the medal, Sam said, “I’m really proud to accept this award on behalf of Mum as she did such a good job for the town and for everyone else and it would have made her very happy.  I’ll be taking it back home and putting it on the mantelpiece next to a photo of her.”

Ernie was nominated by former Councillor, Paula Isaac.  Ernie has volunteered for the Round Table as Santa for 22 years.  In her nomination Paula said, “He goes above and beyond his role often visiting young people at home who are disabled and unable to out and see Santa and his sleigh making their Christmas.  He has also been Chairman of the Shiplake Scouts and also fundraising for The Chiltern Centre.  Ernie is a true example of someone who contributes to the local community and the wellbeing of residents.”

Ernie said, “It shouldn’t be me there are lots of others.  I don’ know what to say.  I can’t believe it has been 22 years being involved doing the Santa run.  I don’t know where the time has gone.  I can’t really remember how I got involved, it must have been through someone from the Round Table that I knew who asked me to do it.  Ernie’s daughter Debs said, “Well he looks the part.”  Ernie then told us a story about going into a supermarket in York in April where a little girl thought he was Santa and he told her that Father Christmas was on holiday and not tell anybody and if she did, they wouldn’t believe her.  Ernie added, “The kids make it so special and they love it.  It’s not very comfortable and we’re out in all weathers.  One time I nearly got blown away up near the Top Shops as they gave me a big golfing umbrella which nearly lifted me off.”


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