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A MELKSHAM man who served as the town’s Poppy Appeal organiser for 14 years has been given a send-off by members of the Royal British Legion, friends and family.
Bill Brown has been involved with the RBL for decades and become Poppy Appeal organiser in 1996 before deciding to stand down after the 2013 appeal. He was joined at the King’s Arms for a celebration to mark his involvement in the appeal and to wish him well in the future.
He has stood down for health reasons and because he is moving to Cornwall with his family, having lived in Melksham for 82 years. He has led the appeal which has continually grown over the years, culminating in a record-breaking year for the last appeal, which raised over £16,000.
At the celebration event many wished him luck for the future. Eileen Dean from the Women’s British Legion said, “Bill has done a wonderful job for so many years and served the town very well. We wish him luck for the future, he will definitely be missed.”
Ken Graham who has assisted Bill for the past few years will take over as Melksham’s Poppy Appeal organiser. He said, “Bill cannot be replaced. He has worked so hard for Melksham for so long and the amount of work he does is huge. it goes far beyond what many people think and I wish him luck in the future. I have a difficult task to organise the appeal as well as Bill did but I will do my best.”
Departing poppy appeal organiser Bill Brown said, “It has been a huge privilege to serve Melksham and I would like to thank everyone that has supported the appeal and the people of Melksham who get behind the appeal every year.
“Ken will do a great job I have no doubt. I am grateful to everyone that has attended this celebration and I will miss Melksham.”
The community fundraiser in Wiltshire for the British Legion Fiona Dobson said, “Bill has been outstanding in giving his time, dedication and commitment to the Poppy Appeal and without people such as him, it simply wouldn’t be able to continue.”
For more information about the Poppy Appeal visit www.britishlegion.org.uk/support-us/poppy-appeal