Published: 23 March, 2012
by PETER GRUNER
ISLINGTON’S unsung community heroes were honoured at Islington town hall last week.
The winners of the Mayor’s awards included volunteers, an army veteran, a restaurateur and a senior member of the air cadets.
Among them were: Robert Burbidge, who has been volunteering in the Finsbury Park area for more than 20 years.
Joy Chamberlin, recently retired after 15 years as chairwoman of Islington Gardeners, who helped develop the Islington in Bloom competition.
Anne Gray, who has worked for The Grove Residents’ and Tenants’ Association on creating a better environment for neighbours.
George Hussein, a widely respected figure in Finsbury who set up the well-known Fish Central restaurant some 40 years ago.
Elizabeth Jones, 84, who has contributed to the community “tirelessly and enthusiastically for decades”.
Peter McCafferty, Remembrance Sunday parade marshal for Finsbury for more than 30 years.
Bill Millett, one of the first to move onto Westbourne estate in Holloway in 1974. He quickly helped set up a tenants’ and residents’ association.
Flight Sergeant Chandon Paul, who has been involved with Islington Air Cadets for more than 10 years. Under his leadership the squadron has gone from a small membership to the second largest in London with more than 127 cadets aged 13 to 18.
Pearly King and Prince of Finsbury John and Darren Walters, who have continued the Pearly tradition, working tirelessly to raise money for charities.
This year’s Ben Kinsella Award winners were The Izzy Cup Crew – a group of young people living on the Packington Estate, in Islington, who attend the Waterside Play and Youth Project. Their clean-up of a litter-strewn football pitch kick-started a revival of youth sport.
Islington Mayor Councillor Phil Kelly said: “The Mayor's Civic Awards and the Ben Kinsella Award are an annual opportunity to give thanks to those special citizens who make our borough a better place.
“Many have worked for years, unpaid and without recognition, to help their neighbourhood or a friend or family member.”