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Rosebush planted at Elstree care home to remember George Male
Fifty friends, neighbours and former colleagues gathered to remember a Borehamwood man who helped a generation of disabled people learn to swim.
Mayor of Elstree and Borehamwood Councillor Clive Butchins planted a rose bush in the gardens of Hill House in Elstree Hill South in memory of George Male.
The navy veteran, who died last year aged 93, was best known for helping set up the Otters Disabled Swimming group.
A keen member of Borehamwood Rotary Club for many years, Mr Male spent much of his post-war career in local government.
His son, Nick Male, 60, organised the ceremony and gave a speech describing his father's contribution to the town.
He said: “I was very humbled by the size of the attendance and the warm comments made to me afterwards.”
A poem, The Rose, was read by local young actor David Tann and Bette Midler’s song of the same name was performed by singer and guitarist Martin Franklin, a member of local folk group The Woodmen.
Vice chairman of the Borehamwood and Elstree Twin Town Association Andrew Grady also performed the National Anthem on the trumpet.
The gathering, which included town and borough councillors and president of the Royal British Legion Bill Davies, then enjoyed an afternoon of music and song at the Cat and the Fiddle in Radlett.
Cllr Butchins said it had been a “privilege” to plant the rose in Mr Male’s memory.
He added: “It was a cloudy day, but we were blessed with sunshine as soon as Nick began speaking.
“He made a very competent speech indeed about George’s life and his contribution to the town, there was little more I could add.”
President of the Elstree and Borehamwood Rotary Club Cynthia Baker was also present at the event.
She said: “It was a very nice occasion, very emotional.
“It was wonderful to hear about how much George had contributed to the town.
"I had no idea about the extent of his contribution, particulary his work with disabled people.”
She added the event had been ably run by Mr Male.
“I joked to a friend that I would like my funeral to be as well organised as that.”
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