Top Labour award for activist Bill
PUBLISHED: 14:42 20 December 2011
A founding father of the senior council for Devon, anti-apartheid campaigner and life-long socialist has won the Labour party’s highest accolade.
Exmouth Labour veteran Bill Jordan, the president of East Devon constituency Labour Party, was awarded the prestigious Merit Award by former sports minister Richard Caborn in the town hall on Friday.
The award is given for outstanding and distinguished service to the Labour party over many years.
Mr Caborn, former Labour MP for Sheffield Central, who retired at the last election, is a life long friend of Bill and his wife Jane.
It follows a friendship that dates from when Bill served as a councillor and as Lord Mayor of Sheffield, before he and Jane moved to Exmouth eleven years ago.
Mr Caborn said that Bill ‘had made a significant contribution in the field of education and training’ and had played ‘a big part in the economic regeneration of the city after the collapse of the British steel industry.’
He called him a ‘strong and persuasive voice in international affairs’, particularly in the fight against apartheid.
Mr Caborn also paid tribute to Bill’s long commitment to the Co-operative movement and the party.
In an amusing speech he likened Bill’s move to East Devon as a ‘missionary’ challenge; bringing Sheffield radicalism to a real Tory stronghold.’
Labour party member Ray Davison said: “Bill’s life was one of sincere and steadfast adherence to socialist principles and values.
“Here in Exmouth, that commitment continued, for Bill was the first and founding president of the Senior Council For Devon as well as President of East Devon Labour.”
Ray added that Bill was joining a very select band of East Devon party activists who had received this rare award and added: “We are proud to add him as a member.”