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Council proposes 'Freedom of the Borough' for Major Gartside
- 18 February 2016
Councillor Richard Farnell, leader of Rochdale Borough Council said: "As a council we would be honoured to bestow Freedom of the Borough on Major Edmund Gartside. In 2015 he unveiled the Gallipoli Stone which now sits proudly in our memorial gardens. Major Gartside's selfless commitment to the armed forces family here in the borough has stretched over decades, so the honour will be well deserved."
The Freedom of the Borough is very rarely used and only awarded to residents who have made a significant contribution to the locality or have achieved something outstanding.
Major Edmund Gartside said: "It was a real surprise for me to hear I'd been nominated for this great honour and I feel delighted and humbled to even be considered. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have supported me during all these years and to those that have recommended me for this accolade."
Councillor James Gartside, elected member for Norden, is Major Gartside's cousin and has worked with him for over 40 years. He said: "As a family we are really delighted and proud to learn that Edmund is being considered for the Freedom of the Borough honour. He has lived in Rochdale for all his life and has strong army and Royal British Legion connections here. His quiet support of many things Rochdale is exemplary and this honour shows the respect with which he is held throughout the borough."
Councillor Alan McCarthy, Lead Member for Armed Forces, said: "Major Edmund Gartside has been a key figure in our local fusilier family, from a young officer in the Territorial Army through to president of the local branch of the Fusilier Association. I am honoured that we're able to give such an award to Major Gartside for the work he has done for the armed forces in our borough and his unwavering commitment from a young age."
The final decision will be made at the Extraordinary Meeting of the Council on Wednesday 24 February at 6:15pm in the Council Chamber, Rochdale Town Hall.
Issued by Rochdale Borough Council 18/02/16.