A SPECIAL presentation was made at the Poppy Picnic in the Park to Bromsgrove Royal British Legion (RBL) president Fred Pearson who is retiring at the end of the year.
Fred, 80, who has served with the RBL for 50 years overall and 40 in Bromsgrove, was presented with a special tankard fittingly inscribed with the words ‘We will remember you’.
During his time he has fronted countless Bromsgrove Poppy Appeals over the years, participated in numerous parades and inspired many to join the town’s RBL.
Fred told The Standard: “I have loved every minute of it but I’m 80 years old now and it is time for someone else to take it on.”
He said the Bromsgrove RBL had a few younger members but needed more.
Bromsgrove RBL chairman Patrick Smith said: “It’s going to be so hard to fill his shoes. He has done an amazing job.”
Fred undertook his national service between 1958 and 1960 in the Royal Engineers. He had been due to start it in 1956 but postponed it so he could do a metal pattern maker.
After his service he worked at foundries in the West Midlands before joining Austin Rover in Longbridge. He worked there from 1980 to 1998 when he retired.
Gayle Field, Fred’s daughter, said: “He had a great sense of humour, family values and a sense of duty and loyalty.
“He’s a fantastic husband, dad, granddad and great granddad.
“He is a very proud man and we are proud of him.”
She added he was very humbling to see how many people came up to him on Sunday, shook him by his hand and thank and congratulate him for his years of service to the legion.
“True to dad’s nature he took all of it in his stride, unassuming but very gracious.
“He doesn’t realise the impact he has had over his lifetime – not just to the Royal British Legion but to his family, friends and all those who have the privilege to know him.”
For more on the Bromsgrove Royal British Legion or to join or volunteer for the branch, email Patrick Smith at email@example.com or call him on 07949 789841.