Tributes paid to first woman chairman of Bungay Town Council

Mary Kent, the new town Reeve of Bungay.Photo: Denise BradleyCopy: Terry ReeveFor: EDP / BBJArchant

Mary Kent, the new town Reeve of Bungay.Photo: Denise BradleyCopy: Terry ReeveFor: EDP / BBJArchant Norfolk pics © 2005(01603) 772434 - Credit: Archant © 2005

Mary Kent, the only woman to be town reeve of Bungay three times and the first woman chairman of the town council, has died at the age of 92.

They were highlights among many ways in which she served the town she came to love with dedication and commitment, after moving to Bungay with her late husband, Bill, in 1966.

Tributes have been paid to the way she carried out her varies roles with dignity and quiet determination.

Town reeve Michael Davies said: 'Over the years, Mary served the people of Bungay in an amazing number of roles. But with all this experience and responsibility she remained calm, friendly and helpful. We shall miss her very much.'

Town mayor Sylvia Knights said: 'Mary contributed hugely to the life and community of Bungay, leading the vanguard for women, having been the first woman chairman of the town council, a position she held twice. Her service to the town council and that as a county councillor lasted for many years, both distinguished by her quiet authority, charm and, above all, humility. Her presence in the community will be greatly missed.'

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Mrs Kent was elected to the newly formed Bungay Town Council in 1972 and four years later became its first woman chairman. That same year, 1976, she was also elected as Suffolk county councillor for the Bungay division and also as a feoffee of the Bungay Town Trust, which the town reeve heads. She was elected town reeve on three occasions.

Her son Christopher said: 'We are very sad that her long life has ended, but we are also very grateful for that life. She did so much for the two great loves of her life – her family and Bungay.'

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Mrs Kent retired as county councillor in 1989 after serving Bungay for 13 years and retired from the town council, of which she was chairman again in 1985, at the same time. The church was also close to her heart and Mrs Kent served as a churchwarden and sidesman at Holy Trinity Church for many years. She leaves behind three sons and five grandchildren. The funeral service will be at Holy Trinity Church on August 19 at 11am. Cremation will take place that afternoon.

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