Honiton: being mayoress helped widow Jean cope with her loss

WHEN the the Mayor of Honiton, Councillor Chris Tratt, died last year, Honiton Town Council faced a dilemma.

WHEN the the Mayor of Honiton, Councillor Chris Tratt, died last year, Honiton Town Council faced a dilemma.But it didn't take councillors long to decide they did not want to appoint a replacement for Chris - until his term of office was due to end.That decision was made easier thanks to Councillor Tratt's public-spirited widow, Jean, who decided to carry on in the role of Mayoress in memory of her husband.That role came to an end last week when the acting chairman of Honiton Town Council, Vivienne Ash, was installed as mayor. She will be supported in the role by her partner, Roy Jeffries. The traditional mayor-making ceremony, held at St Rita's Conference Centre, is, by its very nature, a poignant affair.Jean did not feel up to attending the event, knowing her late husband, if he had still been alive, would have played a pivitol role in the ceremony.Instead, she asked town clerk Lyn Hargood to read out the following statement: "I was very proud to be asked to continue as Mayoress for last year and I would like to thank the council for asking me to continue with the social duties that would have been carried out by the Mayor."At times, it was hard to find a smile but doing this work has been of great help to me."Chris was so proud when last year he became Mayor. He worked so hard for the town - introducing CCTV, getting more shops back in town and his ultimate dream to secure more sports facilities with bigger and better grounds for all the clubs of Honiton. "It is good to see so many of these things beginning to happen."My congratulations to Vivienne on becoming Mayor and also to Roy. "I hope they have a very successful year.

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