Retiring chairman Ann Rowles has been thanked for taking a Pagham group into its second half century.
Mrs Rowles stepped down yesterday from her role of the past eight years at Pagham and District Residents’ Association.
Her fellow committee members treated her to a surprise meal at The Lion in Pagham last night.
Last Thursday saw her presented with a theatre token on behalf of the members at the last of the fortnightly meetings during her chairmanship.
Vice-chairman Janet Dale said:
“We are very sad that Ann is retiring at the end of this month. On behalf of the association, I should like to thank you most sincerely for all your dedication and hard work over many years. You have been a tower of strength to us all.
“You have taken on many roles during your time as chairman. You have done a great deal of the day-to-day running behind the scenes of the association.
“There have been many hours of unseen work for which we are extremely grateful. You will be a hard act to follow.
“We will miss you enormously and we will always give you a warm welcome at any of our events.”
Mrs Rowles remained a calm and strong leader during her period of office and attended meetings on topics as diverse as the village bus service, flood defences and the neighbourhood plan.
She joined the association, which is in its 52nd year, in 2005 and became a committee member the following year.
She took on the role of secretary in 2007 and was elected as the chairman at the 2011 annual meeting.
“I will miss you all enormously and I promise to pop in to some of the coffee mornings.”
One of her highlights as chairman was the well-attended Queen’s Jubilee Party in June 2012.
Mrs Rowles, 74, is moving from Pagham to be closer to her daughters in Worthing. She was previously the sister for the outpatients’ department and the minor injuries unit at Bognor Regis War Memorial Hospital for 24 years.
“I am sad to be going but it is time to go. I have been thinking about it for a while,”
“There is lots of camaraderie in this association and you make friends for a lifetime. We have lost a few along the way, which is always sad, but new members join in, which is good.
“This association is essential. Pagham is quite lucky because it has a few groups like this but we are always extremely busy. We are moving forward all the time.”
The association has some 1,000 households as members. They enjoy weekly and fortnightly shopping trips in its minibus. Recently introduced Sunday minibus outings have been popular alongside the regular coach outings.
This is in addition to the coffee mornings every other week at Pagham Village Hall.
John Horn is the new chairman. He said:
“The legacy that Ann has left will pull us forward for the future and we will carry on as Ann did.”