Meet the new Town Reeve of Bungay
- Credit: Nick Butcher
A former pub landlord, Rotarian and hospital volunteer has been chosen as the next Town Reeve of Bungay.
Seventy-one-year-old Eamon Gaffney, who has lived in Bungay for the past 56 years, was bestowed with the robes and chain of office in time-honoured fashion by outgoing reeve Terry Reeve at the annual town meeting in St Mary’s Church on Tuesday night.
Bungay is believed to be the only town anywhere to retain the unique and ancient title - a role Mr Gaffney described as an “honour.”
He said: “I was extremely chuffed to be asked.
“I always think that if you turn things down you might never get asked again.
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“We are the only town left which still has a reeve. It is very special and Bungay is very special.”
The Town Reeve heads Bungay Town Trust, which is made up of feoffees (trustees). Mr Gaffney was invited to join the trust 18 months ago.
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He said: “I think it is a honour to be asked to be a feoffee, and it has been brilliant.
“I am on different committees, one of which is for the almshouses, and there has been a lot of work done on them over the past couple of years.”
In his younger years, Mr Gaffney was landlord of three pubs in Bungay; The Angel and The British Oak, which are both now closed, and The White Lion which is now The Castle Inn in Earsham Street.
He also ran a greengrocers in Upper Olland Street and his wife Elaine ran two fashion shops in the town.
He was a former chairman of the town’s Christmas lights committee and joined Bungay Rotary Club three years ago. Mr Gaffney also devotes five days a week to volunteering at All Hallows Hospital in Ditchingham, a role he has done for 14 years.
He said: “I like doing something for the older people. They are very pleased to see us everyday.”
Mr Gaffney has yet to decide which groups his reeve’s appeal for the year will support, but he wants to focus on the youth of Bungay and said he would be looking to help those who don’t receive any funding.
Outgoing reeve Terry Reeve, who has completed his third year in the role after serving in 1997 and 2003, said: “I wanted to chose someone who would continue the traditions of the Town Trust. Eamon is well liked and well known in the town and he’s a bit of a character.”
He added: “I have had a really good year. I am really pleased with how it has gone and my appeal for the youth choir has been successful.
“It has been a good year for Bungay.”
Mr Gaffney has been married to his wife for 53 years and has two daughters, six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.