Trio to be given Freedom of Hartlepool honour

Dr. Mohamed Menabawey.
Dr. Mohamed Menabawey.

Civic chiefs have announced that Hartlepool Council is to grant the Freedom of the Borough to three people and a youth organisation as part of a special ceremony next week.

It follows an appeal by the council’s Civic Honours Committee last year for nominations for the historic title.

Alby Pattison of Hart Biologicals.

Alby Pattison of Hart Biologicals.

The Honorary Freeman/Freewoman title is the highest honour that a council can bestow and will be granted a trio of people who have helped to improve the town.

Jill Kitching, founder of Epilepsy Outlook which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, will be one; Mohammed Menabawey, who set up the fertility unit at the town’s hospital which has received worldwide acclaim is another; and Alby Pattison, a business entrepreneur and creator of Hartlepool-based Hart Biologicals which exports life-saving medical equipment around the world is the third.

1st Hartlepool Boys’ Brigade Company which was established in 1886 and was the first Boys’ Brigade Company to be formed in England, will also be recognised at the event.

The last recipients of the honours in 2014 included Sir Ron Norman OBE, the former chair of Teesside Development Corporation, Elizabeth O’Rourke, who had served Hartlepool Blind Welfare Organisation for 52 years and Jim Rodgers who dedicated over 40 years of his life to Hartlepool Sports Council.

Previous recipients include former Hartlepool MP Lord Mandelson, Hartlepool-born Sky Sports presenter and massive Pools fan Jeff Stelling, Pansies cancer charity fundraiser Isobel Wilson and Hartlepool Families First founder Wendy McLoughlin.

Councillor Rob Cook, the Mayor of Hartlepool and chair of the Civic Honours Committee, said: “There are numerous people who have served the town of Hartlepool with distinction and it is appropriate that those who render eminent service receive civic recognition.

“Jill Kitching, Mohamed Menabawey, Alby Pattison and the 1st Hartlepool Boys’ Brigade Company have all played a huge part in different ways in contributing to the town and improving people’s lives and are very worthy recipients of the Freedom of Hartlepool.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of those who submitted nominations for this important honour.”

The ceremony will take place in the Council Chamber at Hartlepool Civic Centre next Thursday.