At a special meeting of the Town Council on Monday October 28, a ceremony was held to appoint Anthony Kimber a Freeman of Rye.
A reward for many years of voluntary service to Rye, and in particular for his painstaking marathon as vice-chairman (the incumbent mayor was the nominal chairman of the Rye Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group. A project lasting several years, the plan was finally approved in a referendum of Rye inhabitants earlier this year.
But it was not just this that earned him the freemanship. In a humorous address, during which, reviving the old Tudor freeman’s oath, as well as paying his historical dues – two old pence and two old shillings to Town Clerk and Town Sergeant respectively – he declined to revive the ancient tradition of kissing the Mayor, much to the evident relief of the Mayor, he reminded us of his other responsibilities, from the RNLI through Rye Art Gallery, Friends of St Mary’s, REACT, to current president of the Rye branch of the British Legion.
He also made a telling comment on the lack of volunteers, commenting that he had, on more than one occasion, heard people say “nothing in Rye for me”. Unsurprisingly, his answer has been, “pick something, join and contribute”, a sentiment with which Rye News, together with many of the other organisations in Rye who need volunteers, would heartily agree.
Image Credits: John Minter .