Stepping down

PUBLISHED: 11:19 26 September 2011

May I please thank everyone who turned out for the tenth anniversary of 9/11 on Sunday, September 11, at the memorial in Phear Park.

This year, we had the biggest congregation ever and on such a very special date. It was very heartwarming to see serving and ex-servicemen and women joining us to remember their comrades also.

The City of Exeter Pipes and Drums started the proceedings off in a really resounding way and proved themselves to be as good as any pipe band I have ever heard. Reverend Tony Oswin came back to Exmouth to officiate and, along with watch manager Bob Sturtivant, took control of the rest of the service.

Alderman Bernard Hughes OBE represented EDDC and our own Mayor, Sandy Sutton, looked resplendent in full robe. Wreaths were laid by representatives of the DSFRS, Devon and Cornwall Police the Westcountry Ambulance Service, the RAFA, the community college and a very special wreath, in the style of the United States flag, was laid jointly by Charlotte Tucket, cousin of Stephen Lawn, who sadly died in the South Tower, and a regular visitor to Exmouth, American Bob Strickland.

Three posies were also laid in memory of those who passed away and by people who pray for more peaceful times ahead.

More than 30 firefighters were present, along with ten police officers and a number of ambulance personnel.

Representing the youth of Exmouth were the local youngsters from the Air Training Corps, who also paraded theirs and the RAFA Association Standards. David Adams presented Last Post followed by two minutes silence and Reveille.

One man who also turns up every year is former retained fireman Bob Griggs, whose birthday falls on September 11 and he joined us to pay his respects on what is his special day also.

Police Officer Martin Young, ably assisted by Bob Sturtivant, will now take over the reins in place of me. I’m sad to be standing down, but the old body “ain’t wot it used to be”, so thank you everyone who has shown support over the years.

Vince Orchard will ensure the memorials are up to the standard he requires, so I know everything will be in good hands.

To the RAFA Club, thank you for a brilliant buffet and for the honour you have afforded me. I really do appreciate it and feel very proud.

Lionel Howell

10 Cheshire Road, Exmouth

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