Gallery: ‘Local legend’ Patrick Chung is elected Mayor of St Edmundsbury

The St Edmundsbury Borough Council Annual Meeting and Mayor Making Ceremony at the Apex in Bury St

The St Edmundsbury Borough Council Annual Meeting and Mayor Making Ceremony at the Apex in Bury St Edmunds. Mayor Patrick Chung and New Deputy Mayor Julia Wakelam - Credit: Archant

A man described as a “local legend” has been elected as the new Mayor of St Edmundsbury.

Councillor Patrick Chung, who was the first person from an ethnic minority background to be elected onto Bury St Edmunds Town Council, is mayor of the borough for the forthcoming year.

Mr Chung, who last year held the position of deputy mayor, was elected today during a ceremony attended by hundreds of people at the Apex in Bury.

He was nominated by fellow Southgate borough councillor, Sarah Stamp, who described him as “quite simply a local legend”.

She said not only does he have the greatest memory for faces, names and facts of anyone she has ever worked with, but the sheer number of people across the borough who know him and regard him fondly is “simply breathtaking”.

She said: “The tremendous charisma, huge heart, generous nature, strong sense of integrity and irrepressible community spirit of Patrick mean that you literally cannot walk 100 metres with him without bumping into one of his many friends!”

She added: “But seriously, I have learned from Patrick how honesty, kindness and karma always wins and how good it feels to go the extra mile to help the people we represent.”

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Mr Chung was born and raised in Hong Kong and first came to join his brothers in Bury in 1970.

He ran the Canton Chinese Restaurant in Bury’s Hatter Street with his family until three years ago when he retired.

Mr Chung is still a town councillor, and has many roles in the community including vice chairman of governors at Howard Community Primary School, a trustee at the Southgate Community Partnership and a committee member of the local Samaritans branch.

Mr Chung said in particular he would like to thank the electorate who voted for him, “without which I wouldn’t be sitting here today”.

His chosen charities for the year are the Samaritans, East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices, the Rainbow Ward at West Suffolk Hospital and the women’s refuge in Bury.

Outgoing mayor, councillor Robert Everitt, said: “Thank you for giving me the honour and privilege of being mayor. It’s been one of the best years of my life.”

Councillor Julia Wakelam, who was elected deputy mayor, said: “Being elected to represent your community is a huge privilege as well as a great responsibility and I’m humbled councillors of all political persuasions have supported my nomination.”