Modest magistrate ‘thrilled’ with her community honour

JPCT 311212 Pat Town, awarded the British Empire Medal for services to Steyning
JPCT 311212 Pat Town, awarded the British Empire Medal for services to Steyning

A long-serving magistrate is “thrilled to bits” about being listed on the New Year Honours List 2013 for her services to the community in Steyning.

Mrs Pat Town, who now lives in Bramber, has been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM)- an honour re-issued in the UK by Prime Minister David Cameron in June to coincide with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

“I’m absolutely tickled pink,” said the 63 year old.

“I’m just thrilled to bits because it’s obviously been a nomination and sponsorship by a group of local people for things over years I have done locally.

“Whilst I have done it quietly, it must have gone down in the good books. With my record as a Justice of Peace as well, it’s been put together as a nice package.”

Mrs Town has achieved 29 years service as a magistrate in Steyning courts in which she has spent a lot of time since moving to the district in 1978.

Alongside many charity and fundraising roles, other accolades of hers include being honoured as vice president of Steyning Horticultural Society, being a parent governor at St Andrews Infant and Primary School, becoming secretary and chairman for Steyning Good Neighbours and her role as a ‘Barn Owl’ leader in the Brownies.

With flower arranging being a great passion, Mrs Town also does the flowers for St Andrews Church in Steyning and St Nicholas Church and St Mary’s Church in Bramber.

She also became chairman of Steyning and District Flower Club for two separate three year stints.

“I’ve never had anything like this before I’m absolutely excited,” added Mrs Town, whose two sons, Mark and Paul, attended Steyning Grammar School.

“The difficulty with this though is if you’re a very quiet or private person it’s also embarrassing.

“But I think this is only the second batch of BEMs that they’ve awarded and that means more to me.

“I can’t tell you how special that is.”