It was with a sad heart that I stood outside the Cathedral on Friday 11 December to pay my respects to a very well-loved Freeman of Worcester, Cecil Duckworth CBE. Many people were there to mark the final journey of a man who brought so much good and joy to Worcester citizens and visitors alike. As well as the Bishop, the Dean, the High Sherriff and the Leader, Deputy Leader and MD of Worcester City Council, there were many others who came to see this kind, benevolent and quiet man pass by. Cecil made a difference to so many people’s lives through his generosity and the benevolence he brought to this City.
Similar roadside tributes were made at Acorns Hospice where he was a major original benefactor; at New Road where he was President of the Worcestershire Cricket Club; at Sixways where his foresight made the club the success it is today and at Worcester Bosch where he developed the first combustion boiler. Cecil’s success not only brought him happiness but it also brought happiness to the community, as he enjoyed sharing his financial success with others. I feel proud to have known him and offer my sincere condolences to his family for their loss.
I am looking forward to attending two Worcester News Carol Services on Monday. The pandemic has curtailed the activities of us all this Christmas and the Mayor would normally attend six or seven carol services brought to the Cathedral by various organisations. It is very different this year. I hope that you all spend your Christmas and New Year period safely and happily and when I next have a chance to write this column in 2021, that we are well advanced with the vaccination programme. People keep saying to me “What a year!” and I agree, but if we come through it valuing the simple things in life more such as good health, kindness and care for others, then some good will have come out of it.
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL!