PENZANCE has celebrated the achievements of its residents at the same time as electing a mayor and deputy mayor for the town.

After a two-year pause due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Brian Spiegelhalter Citizen and Young Citizen of the Year Awards made a comeback for 2022.

The awards were started in 2004 by the family of the late Brian Spiegelhalter, a previous mayor of Penzance, to celebrate the work of local people and their important contributions to the Parish community.

Residents of the parish were able to vote for the winners of the awards for the first time this year, and they were announced by the present mayor and presented with engraved pewter plates, provided by BJ Speigelhalter & son.

Neil Eddy, director of communities at Mounts Bay Academy, was awarded Citizen of the Year for his tireless work to support local children and their families on top of his official duties at the school.

Last summer he put on a programme to ensure all children were being fed in the school holidays, as well as having the opportunity to participate in fun and exciting activities. Unfortunately Neil was out of the country on the awards night, so his father Richard Eddy accepted the award on his behalf.

Young Citizen of the Year was awarded to Elliott Furse from Newlyn for his amazing fundraising work. Elliott was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumour in 2020 and, because of his surgery, he lost his ability to walk and talk. He has spent months in rehabilitation alongside receiving chemotherapy and radiotherapy, all whilst fundraising to help others.

Elliott raised over £5,000 for his Christmas Toy Appeal in 2020 and was then inspired to use his rehabilitation to raise £5,000 for the Penlee Lifeboat Station. For Christmas 2021, he yet again donated more toys to the Children's Ward at the Royal Cornwall Hospital, alongside a further £1,000 worth of Lego to the Penzance branch of Women's Aid.

Cllr Penny Young (Civiv Deputy), Cllr Jonathon How (Town Mayor), Cllr Will Elliott (Deputy Town Mayor), Cllr Bonnie Jackson (Civiv Deputy)

Cllr Penny Young (Civiv Deputy), Cllr Jonathon How (Town Mayor), Cllr Will Elliott (Deputy Town Mayor), Cllr Bonnie Jackson (Civiv Deputy)

Emma-Leigh Stubbins was also presented with a Special Recognition Award for setting up the Covid-19 Mutual Aid Penzance Facebook Group to support local residents at the height of the pandemic.

The group became a central place for local information on businesses that were open, as well as helpful summaries of new national guidelines. It also supplied invaluable information on mental health, with relevant helplines. It quickly became the central source of local information because it could be trusted, and it brought the community together.

This year’s Humphry Davy Prize was awarded to Oscar Simmons from Humphry Davy School.

The Mayor’s Cadets for 2022 were also announced: Air Cadet Corporal Oliver Hall and Sea Cadet First Class Seb Dash.

The Sea Cadet Corps and Air Cadet Corps are asked to nominate a cadet, in recognition of their special efforts and qualities, to serve as the Mayor’s Cadet for the civic year. The new cadets received their official badges of office to wear on their uniforms when attending civic functions in the coming year. The retiring cadets were also awarded certificates for their service – Flight Sergeant Joe Roach and Able Cadet James Scanlan.

And last, but by no means least, the retiring Mace Bearer Sid Reed received a special certificate in recognition of his 16 years of service to the town.

Councillor Jonathan How and Councillor Will Elliott were both unanimously re-elected as mayor and deputy mayor respectively, and Philip Northcott was named as the town crier.

Councillors Bonnie Jackson and Penny Young were also re-elected as civic deputies. Their role is to represent the council should the mayor and his deputy be unavailable.

The ceremonial ‘swearing in’ of the mace bearers also took place with Mike Arnold and Simon Reed taking the oath. Andrew Chellew was also sworn in to serve as Deputy Sergeant at Mace.

Councillor Jonathan How said: “The lack of public events has made me feel like a bit of a 'secret mayor' during the last year! So it was really great to have such a large gathering and not just shake hands but also chat with so many different people from our local community.”

The ceremony was followed by a buffet reception at the Queens Hotel for all the award winners and special guests.