Second time around as Stephen Went announced Bungay’s new Town Reeve
- Credit: Nick Butcher
A community stalwart who has worked tirelessly to promote Bungay has been chosen as the next Town Reeve.
Stephen Went, of Southend Road, was presented with the robes and chain of office by outgoing reeve Mary Sprake at the Fisher Theatre last night.
Mr Went, 52, was born in Bungay and has long been entrenched in the local community.
He previously held the title of Town Reeve in 2004 and served as Mayor in 1998.
Mr Went said: “It is a great honour to take up the position again.
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“Having done it the first time I am ready and more prepared.
“It’s nice to be able to represent the town and I am keen to support and promote it wherever I go.
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“Loads of people will scoff at tradition but for me it is an honour and unique.”
Mrs Sprake added: “So few places keep the traditions going – it’s nice that everything isn’t swallowed up by the 21st century.”
Bungay is believed to be the only town to retain the unique and ancient role.
The Town Reeve serves as head of the Bungay Town Trust, which is made up of feoffees (trustees) - Mr Went has been a member of the trust since 1998.
“It’s more of a civic role and is non-political, which makes it more pleasurable,” said Mr Went.
Outgoing Reeve Mrs Sparke recommended Mr Went for the position.
She said: “He is one of the first people I thought of for the role because of his long term involvement in the town.
“Especially as he did it once before, I am sure he will return with a renewed vigour.
“I’m quite sad that my time as Reeve is ending.
“I feel wiser of the town and its people now; you really get to find out what makes the town tick”
Mr Went works at Willis Insurance Broker, in Ipswich, and has been a member of the Bungay Theatre Group for the last 20 years; he is also a treasurer and lay elder at Holy Trinity Church.
His mother, Roma Went, previously served as Town Reeve in 1998 when he was acting Mayor.