Hartlepool has bestowed its highest civic honour on three well-deserving individuals and an organisation.
The Freedom of the Borough ceremony at the town’s civic centre was held in front of an esteemed audience in the council chamber, followed by a drinks reception.
Those honoured were Epilepsy Outlook founder Jill Kitching, pioneering consultant Mohamed Menabawey, science entrepreneur Albert ‘Alby’ Pattison, and 1st Hartlepool Boys’ Brigade Company.
The town’s Ceremonial Mayor Rob Cook proposed the motion that the nominees be made Honourary Freemen of the Borough of Hartlepool.
It was seconded by council leader Coun Christopher Akers-Belcher and was unanimously agreed by elected members.
Coun Carl Richardson formally proposed Mrs Kitching’s nomination. It was seconded by Coun Kevin Cranney, who said: “I couldn’t think of many people who have done half as much as Jill has.
These boys are shining examples of what young people in Hartlepool should be likeCoun Paul Beck
“She has devoted a great deal of her life to helping others.”
The nomination of Mr Menabawey, who established the Assisted Conception Clinic at University Hospital of Hartlepool, was proposed by Coun Christopher Akers-Belcher in the absence of Coun Ray Martin-Wells.
He said: “He put the people of Hartlepool first every time.”
The nomination was seconded by Coun Brenda Loynes.
Managing director of Hart Biologicals, Mr Pattison, was proposed by Coun Kevin Cranney and seconded by Coun Stephen Akers-Belcher. Coun Cranney described Mr Pattison’s works as “outstanding”, adding “He is a great example of a philanthropist.”
Coun Alan Clark then addressed the council in proposing 1st Hartlepool Boys’ Brigade Company.
He said: “The Boys’ Brigade is embedded in our town’s history.”
The nomination was seconded by Coun Paul Beck, who said: “These boys are shining examples of what young people in Hartlepool should be like.”