Kentish Gazette Canterbury & District
Remember prince is freeman of city
AS I enter my 65th year writing for the Kentish Gazette and/or its associated newspapers in one capacity or another, I am often inclined to write to you about the way local stories are treated or mistreated. Then I think better of it. However, in view of the content of this week’s pre-piece for the forthcoming enthronement of the new Archbishop of Canterbury, I feel I should write. Why?
Because, whenever the Prince of Wales is mentioned in the Kentish Gazette, it is always overlooked that he is an honorary freeman of the city of Canterbury. The ceremony took place on November 9, 1978, when he officially opened the Guildhall, formerly Holy Cross Church, built in about 1380 by Archbishop Sudbury.
The many gifts to make the conversion possible included one from the Kentish Gazette to help with the cost of the screen behind the Mayor’s seat. In 1978 it was the Mayor, not the Lord Mayor.
That came later after a lot of background work from the leader of the city council Cllr Arthur Porter, the chief executive Chris Gay and a certain local newspaper.
One of the reasons given for the Prince’s admission as an honorary freeman was “in appreciation of the prominent role he has taken as president of the Cathedral Appeal Fund”.
On occasions such as an enthronement and other historical ceremonies, this should not be forgotten. Alan Bensted Former editor of the Kentish Gazette, The Foreland, Canterbury