Newport Parish Council had great pleasure in awarding their first honorary Freeman of Newport to the historian Bill Shepard. The presentation, held in the theatre of the Quay Arts Centre, was attended by over 60 people and included a number of speakers.
Mr Brian Greening, who has co written a number of books with Mr Shepard, gave an amusing and affectionate speech and Dr Colin Pope emphasised the high regard the IW Natural History and Archaeological Society hold for Mr Shepard’s knowledge of flora on the Island.
The last time the title was conferred was 45 years ago, in 1972, to coincide with the end of the Borough status. Chairman Lois Prior said ‘ The Parish Council were unanimous in agreeing that Bill Shepard is an exceptionally worthy recipient of this title and we are delighted to be able to use the power within the Local Government Act to carry this out.’
Mr Shepard was presented with a scroll outlining the award along with an engraved silver scroll holder.
Thanks to Councillor Terry Martin for taking the photos and Paul Armfield of Quay Arts Centre for free use of the Theatre.