MEMBERS of the community have paid tribute to stalwart Jean Harris, who died on 29th April.
Jean worked for the town for over 30 years; she was Melksham Town Council’s clerk and finance officer, was the organiser of the Melksham Christmas fair, supported groups, and dedicated her time to making Melksham a community-minded place to live.
Former mayor, Adrienne Westbrook, and former town council clerk, John Crook, have paid tribute to Jean.
In a joint statement they said, “Jean became Melksham town clerk in the late ‘80s or early ‘90s and was a fantastic advocate for the town and dedicated her time to Melksham.
“She believed in the town and worked hard to enhance it. It was Jean who started the annual Christmas Fair, and even after retiring, she was still the go-to person, sending out all the stall invites, organising the entertainment and being busy, on the day, making sure that everyone was happy.
“For years she was involved in the Hospital Fete and the Council of Community Services, the fore runner of the Melksham Community bus service.
“She encouraged the Christmas lights team to spread their wings and become the brilliant group that they are today. Then there are the flowers; Melksham’s initial effort was in the non-watering hanging baskets, yes plastic flowers, but they brightened up the town. A start had been made and through her enthusiasm the flowers seen around the town became better each year.
“Her interest in plants was a family affair and through her contacts with Old Milestone Nursery, who had the town contract for flowers for a number of years, when the owner of the nursery decided to retire and when one of Jean’s family members bought the nursery, she stepped back from her position as town clerk and became the financial officer. She continued this until 2018, so worked for the town for over 30 years.
“She was much-loved by staff and councillors and we all remember her little pots of money, Jean was known for these and would always be ready to use one for a good idea.
“In fact, she had Melksham running through her bones and blood. She was a lovely lady who worked hard for Melksham and she will be really, really missed. Rest in peace, Jean.”