Former Mayor Bronwen McGarrity granted Freedom of the Borough of Gravesham
A former Mayor of Gravesham and Conservative councillor of 13 years standing has been made an Honorary Freeman of the Borough.
Bronwen McGarrity served as councillor for Central Ward from 2003 to 2011, and Coldharbour Ward from 2015 to 2019. She was elected Mayor in 2009.
Born in Peacock Street, Gravesend, Bronwen has lived and worked in the town her whole life, apart from a two-year spell in Canada.
She attended Whitehill Infant and Junior schools and Southfields School, where she became the school’s first Head Girl. At the age of 14 she was awarded the Alderman Thomas Prize for outstanding achievement which was presented to her at the town hall.
Bronwen’s higher education qualifications were earned following the death of her husband after a rugby accident.
To support her three children Shaun, Peter and Siobhan, she went back to college for a year and achieved the qualifications necessary to enter teacher training, returning to Southfields School to teach maths after qualifying.
In her younger years she enjoyed many sports including swimming, gymnastics and netball, qualifying as an umpire in the latter.
At the age of 21, Bronwen travelled to Canada where she was employed by the then Bell Telephone Company. At weekends she worked as a Bunny Girl at the Lake Ontario Palace Hotel, where she was the hotel’s photographer.
Following her retirement, she became the treasurer for the Gravesend Rowing Club and also organised fund-raising events for the club.
Bronwen received her scroll and badge of Freedom of the Borough at the care home where she now resides.
Congratulating Bronwen, current Mayor of Gravesham Cllr John Caller said: “The status of Honorary Freeman of the Borough is awarded to a very select few who have rendered eminent service to Gravesham, and Bronwen has certainly done that.
“Her support for the Borough of Gravesham throughout her life has been truly fantastic. I would like to thank her on behalf of the residents and my fellow councillors for her endless passion and assistance in making our Borough and community a better place to be.”