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Charlie was a mayor in a million!
8:00am Monday 28th May 2012 in News
THERE are few men in Thurrock who can claim to do more for the borough than the outgoing mayor.
Charles Curtis, a Labour councillor for ten years, has served as mayor of Thurrock since last May.
Since then he and his wife Wendy, councillors for Belhus ward, have attended more than 300 events and raised thousands of pounds for charity.
Charlie said: “It’s been fantastic. We have had a lovely, lovely year. It’s a proud thing, to be the mayor.
“It’s been a privilege to help local people.
“It’s what I love doing and what I’m about.”
Charlie cites welcoming the Duke of Edinburgh to the borough in November 2011 amongst his highlights, as well as hosting a picnic for other mayors at High House Production Park, in Purfleet.
He said: “One of the best things has been to promote the borough. That’s what we’re all about, promoting ourselves.
“We have got some lovely things going on in Thurrock. It’s important to let people know how good it is to live here.”
Before retiring and becoming a councillor in 2002, Cllr Curtis worked in the Daily Express printing rooms and later managed the Civic Hall, in Grays. Charlie has fond memories of a hilarious night spent with Ken Dodd, the iconic comedian, who played at the hall in 1998 while he was manager.
As mayor, Charlie has raised money for Little Havens Hospice, Thurrock Community Chest and the Royal British Legion.
He said: “I’ve not kept count on how much I’ve raised. We do the fundraising because we want to.
“I couldn’t put a figure on it and I wouldn’t want to.”
Charlie, who has six grandchildren, has visited most schools in the borough during his term and been impressed by the children he has met.
But discussing high youth unemployment, currently plaguing Thurrock, he said: “I don’t think we’re doing enough to make sure our kids are set up for the future. Other areas are pushing and our children should be helped.”
New mayor Yash Gupta was appointed on Wednesday.
Thurrock Council leader John Kent said: “Charlie Curtis has been an exceptional mayor.
“He has been as at home finger painting with toddlers as taking tea with ladies celebrating their 100th birthday. He will be a hard act to follow!”