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Burt Paul - An Inspiration

(October 14, 2012)

Surgery open day 001a

 I have just heard that Burt Paul has passed away writes Paul Macdonald. He served the town of Warminster in so many ways and at the age of 85 he was still an active community stalwart.

 I came to really appreciate him as person of very special qualities when I took on the position of school governor and then chairman of the governors at Princecroft. He was very experienced in that role at Avenue school and his advice was always welcome as at that time there was an enormous change in the duties of a governor. 

 He was also a town councillor in the 1970s enjoying contributing towards town planning. Once again I enjoyed our chats twenty years later when I too became a councillor and a planning committee member.

 He was a retired soldier having served if my memory does not fail me as a Royal Engineer and then worked for the MOD as a civilian locally retiring the year I got elected in 1991.

 A former Chairman of the Warminster Royal British Legion, the Probus Club, but his most amazing and outstanding contribution was nearly four decades as a governor and many of them as Chairman at The Avenue School. They are just the few roles that I can recall.  Others will remember many more.

 Most recently he was actively involved in two major additions to the Avenue school including the Early Learning Centre. The other extension they named after him.

 I still reflect to this day on one of his passions that he expressed to me on several occasions. He believed that councillors should be independent people standing up for the area they were elected to represent and the interests of their townsfolk first.

 In 2010 I photographed Burt aged 85 still full of enthusiasm playing a leading role in the Avenue Surgery patients group.

 A 'true gentleman' in all senses and an inspiration to all that were fortunate enough to have spent time with him.

 Another Fond Recollection 

 I have lots of good memories of Burt writes May Law. The one that will always be at the forefront of my mind was when the new building at the Avenue  School was named after him. The look of pride on his face said it all.

 Another was of how proud he was when he gave the school leavers a book to keep as a memento of their days at the school that he dedicated his spare time to.

 Every child was so special to him and they loved him because he never had favourites or if he did he never showed it.

 He was a great guy who even when he was not feeling one hundred per cent he always had time for you. Words of encouragement were always there and they really helped.

 He was a special person and lots of Avenue schoolchildren past, present and future owe him a lot. His words of wisdom and his caring nature will never be forgotten.


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