Former Woodbridge mayor Tony Hubbard ‘absolutely flabbergasted’ to be honoured with MBE

Former Woodbridge Mayor Tony Hubbard who has been awarded an MBE in the New Year's Honours.

Former Woodbridge Mayor Tony Hubbard who has been awarded an MBE in the New Year's Honours.

After decades of service to the people in his town, Tony Hubbard is still passionate about his community.

A former mayor of Woodbridge, Mr Hubbard, 80, has been involved with many different projects over the years – from leading the team that created a community and charity hub, to turning the town’s historic Tide Mill into an important tourist attraction, to children’s welfare and council work.

He has been honoured in the New Year’s Honours with an MBE for his commitment and hard work.

Mr Hubbard, who lives with his wife Susan on Market Hill, said he was “absolutely flabbergasted” to receive the award.

He said: “I had to read it two or three times before I believed it. It caught me totally by surprise. I have been truly lucky to have worked with some wonderful people and they have been friendly and fun, and I don’t see why I have been singled out rather than anyone else.”

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Mr Hubbard, who worked as a solicitor for 44 years until his retirement, served as a Woodbridge town councillor for a decade, and it was during his time as a councillor, in 1993, that he led one of the riverside community’s most important projects, raising £120,000 to turn Cedar House into a hub for charities and local voluntary projects.

He said: “It was wonderful to see it develop. We got one of the first lottery grants and the organisations which were able to set up home in Cedar House supported each other, creating a community hub under one roof.

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“Our original lease was 15 years and we went on 17 years, with the groups growing and leaving for other premises.”

While Suffolk Coastal was now selling the building, he was not despondent and felt it had fulfilled its purpose in helping so many organisations get off the ground.

He was also chairman of the Tide Mill Trust, and still remains a patron, during the vital years in which the iconic building was restored, brought back into use and turned into a tourist attraction.

He said: “It was a hard slog but we are all so proud of what has been achieved.”

His many other activities have included serving as chairman of the East Suffolk NSPCC – his wife is still the local chairman – and chairman of the Woodbridge Society and Woodbridge in Bloom, and is a trustee of the Suffolk Punch Trust.

He said: “It has been hard work at times but so worth it. I am still passionate about Woodbridge and think it is the best place to live.”

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