One of Cornwall’s longest serving members of the Women’s Institute (W.I) has received a special award for her services to the organization.
Maureen Townsend’s 62 years of dedication to the Mount Hawke W.I group was marked by a celebratory meeting in the village last Tuesday.
Members gathered to watch the W.I’s county vice chairman, Barbara Corbett, congratulate the 76 year-old and present her with a commemorative photo frame.
Mrs Townsend said: “I have enjoyed every minute in the WI over the years.
“I have been a member for so long because of the friendships I have developed – you always feel you’ve got someone in the W.I.”
Encouraged by her mother, who was one of the founding members of the Mount Hawke group, Mrs Townsend joined the organization in 1952, the same year Queen Elizabeth II took the throne.
She said: “I joined when I was 14 because that’s just what you did in the village in those days.”
Since then Mrs Townsend has been involved in every aspect of the society, rarely taking a break from meetings, even while raising her three children.
The committed pensioner has held presidency over the village group a record 12 times and has been instrumental is the organization of dozens of fairs, pantomimes and events, including the Mount Hawke Millennium celebration.
A keen baker, Mrs Townsend’s cakes and savory dishes have won her armfuls of awards over the years and her fondant fancy’s are the stuff of legend among the women.
Rita Carlyon, one of the trustees for Mount Hawke W.I, said: “Maureen has been the backbone of Mount Hawke WI.
“She keeps herself in the background as she is very modest, but she is always helping out and a great person to go to for advice.”
Mrs Townsend will continue her involvement in the village group and its activities.
In a tribute compiled by the Mount Hawke WI trustees, Hilary Chynoweth, Shirley Simmons and Mrs Carlyon, said: “We, as a group, are very grateful to Maureen, and proud of all her achievement and loyalty over the past 62 years.”