Dartfordian Award for Services to the Community of Southfleet
Posted on Nov 14, 2018 by Tony Kelly
Congratulations to Heather Wakeman and Ray Watson who have each received the Dartfordian Award for Services to the Community of Southfleet. Their awards were presented by Jeremy Kite, Leader of Darford Borough Council at St Nicholas church on 8th November 2018.
Late in 2017 a casual conversation about the 2014 poppy installation at the Tower of London led to a small group of people being inspired to create something in Southfleet to mark the end of the Great War and honour the 18 men from Southfleet who had given their lives.
A small committee was formed to pull together ideas and coordinate a series of events and visual displays leading up to the service of Remembrance at St Nicholas church. Heather and Ray were key members of this committee and haved inspired all those wonderful volunteers who created poppies for display.
Heather was the lead on the manufacture of the cascade of nearly 25,000 popies from the top of St Nicholas Church Tower. This has taken a great deal of commitment and leadership of a team of local volunteers, working at the Village Hall each Sunday afternoon from early July to mid-October. Heather also designed the displays of thousands of poppies around the village hall and led their installation at the village hall.
Ray has personally created hundreds of wooden poppies to decorate roadside locations and inspired others to produce more. All those lost from Southfleet in WW1 are remembered with their own named poppy. Ray has also crafted a 3/4 sized wooden horse, Warrior, to remind people of the vast number of animals (horses, dogs and carrier pigeons) who lost their lives during the conflict supporting the armed forces.
Both people have worked incredibly hard to ensure that both residents and visitors to the village are reminded of the incredible debt we owe to those who served in the armed services during conflict but particularly The Great War. Their creativeness and energy were key to achieving the magnificent outcome and they have given their time selflessly and sought no recognition.
The Dartfordian Award recognises their service to the community of Southfleet.
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