A community-spirited trio have been rewarded for their efforts.
Receiving Boston Borough Council service to the community awards during a special ceremony were Ann Booth, of Kirton, and John Fitchett, of Sutterton.
Rodney Bowles was also the recipient of the very first Robert Lauberts Award, presented in honour of its namesake who was heavily involved in a number of community initiatives before his death last year.
Alison Fairman, chairman of the Boston in Bloom committee, said Rob had worked tirelessly alongside his wife, Rachel, on improvements to Boston. This included the the revamp of Custom House Quay and the garden at the Geoff Moulder Leisure Complex. He was also the enthusiastic chairman of Main Ridge East Placecheck Group, secretary of Boston Greenscapers, chairman of Boston Big Local Boosting Local Economy Group and chairman of Boston Community Forum.
Rachel said: “I am deeply honoured by the Boston in Bloom committee and the council for instigating this award in memory of Rob.
“The gentleman that the award will be presented to has worked tirelessly for Boston, its people and its environment, he is selfless, kind, and compassionate and is a great friend to many.
“Always cheerful, he willingly gives of his time and expertise, whether as the chair of the Witham East Placecheck Group, a founder member and treasurer of the Boston Greenscapers, a member of the rowing club and sailing club, the young farmers’ advisory committee or the neighbourhood police panel, to name but a few.
“He is committed to making Boston a better place to live, work and play, and is an inspiration to us all.
“It therefore gives me great pleasure to announce that the first Robert Lauberts Environment and Community Achievement Award will go to my dear friend and partner in grime, Mr Rodney Bowles.”
Rodney said he was almost lost for words and was overcome to have been chosen to receive the award. He spoke about the many hours he had spent working alongside Rob, ‘a kindred spirit’, and the little joke they shared where, as they packed away the tools at the end of another hard day, one or other would get in the last word by thanking the other for coming.
In a touching note he recounted the last time he visited Rob. “He was always pleased to see me,” he said. “We shook hands and as I was leaving he said ‘thanks for coming’ with a big smile on his face. I said thanks for having me – we’ll call that a draw.”
Poyntons, property consultants of Boston, also provided a £100 gift voucher.
Ann was recommended for her award by Kirton Parish Council for all her efforts over many years. She has been a youth worker and a parish councillor and is now chairman of the town hall management committee.
Receiving her award from the Mayor, Coun Richard Austin, she said it was nice to receive such recognition for doing something that was enjoyable. She said a lot of people had contributed, including her husband, Peter - ‘handyman and general dogsbody when things need repairing’ - her fellow committee members and the parish council.
“I feel very humble,” she said, praising others like her all over the county ‘without whom village halls wouldn’t exist’.
John had been put forward by Sutterton Parish Council. He had volunteered his services, and especially his skills as an award-winning gardener, to tend the gardens of those who were not able to do it for themselves.
In addition he helps keep the village looking tip-top, setting flowers, cutting grass and mending anything in need of repair, and serves on the Mayflower Committee - all helping Sutterton to collect a best small village award last year.