For the first time since 1973, an Honorary Freeman Ceremony held at the Guildhall marked over 40 years of service to the town.
Terry Tonkin was ceremonially appointed as an Honorary Freeman of St Ives on Friday 16 May 2014 at a special gathering of town councillors, former town councillors, friends and family.
Having served for 44 year both as a borough and a town councillor for St Ives, Terry Tonkin has also served on the former Penwith District Council. He has been Mayor of St Ives in 1981 and also served as Deputy Mayor four times.
In recognition of the years of valued service to the local community, the town council has decided to bestow its highest honour – the granting of the title Honorary Freeman.
It had previously been noted that during Terry’s service to the town council (from 1974 to 2013) he had been at the forefront of numerous projects, having taken pride in the twinning schemes, Britain in Bloom and was instrumental in ensuring that the childrens centre at Trenwith was created.
In a ceremony attended by current and past town councillors – indeed current and past Town Mayors, the Mayor and others spoke highly of Terry’s tireless work for the town.
Town Councillor, Andrew Mitchell had originally proposed that Terry be made an Honorary Freeman. He spoke of the first time he met him many years ago, and how that encounter had led to him deciding to also stand for election to the local council. He stated that Terry had been a fantastic mentor and a great friend and it had been an honour to serve alongside him. Councillor Mitchell noted that Terry had a calling to public service, having also had a career as a teacher.
Having seconded the motion, Bill Fry, a former Town Councillor and Mayor, said that Terry had also been the inspiration for his deciding to first stand for election. Bill had enjoyed his 8 years as a Town Councillor and 2 terms as Mayor and had greatly appreciated Terry’s mentorship during that time. He said that Terry was renowned for his actions as well as his debate in the Council Chamber and had for many years selflessly worked to help others. Notable projects of Terry’s had included the St Ives Traffic Plan and the installation of the bollards along the harbour.
In thanking those present for his nominations, Terry said that it was lovely to see so many people attending. He had enjoyed all of the time spent serving as a local councillor and thanked all who had served alongside him. He gave particular thanks to Councillor Mitchell and Bill Fry – also to Colin Sanger who had helped to put forward the proposal for Freeman, and a special thank you to Joan Symons who had provided all of the refreshments for the evening. His biggest thanks of the evening went to his wife, Catherine, who had supported him over the years and had been instrumental in every election campaign.
Terry stated that he was proud to have been made an Honorary Freeman and particularly proud to be an Honorary Freeman of St Ives – an internationally renowned and beautiful town. Some of his fondest memories were of Johnny Barber and the Chapel Minstrels with an exceptional blending of voices he had loved every charity concert when he had been a member.
A big thank you also goes to Tony Mason for this coverage of the Freeman Ceremony.