Service recognised as five people awarded the Freedom of the Borough

Published Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Five local people were honoured at a special ceremony held in the Town Hall on 23 March.

Dr Tariq Abbasi MBE, Janet Gillman, Jim Gillman, Dermot Poston MBE, and Chris Roberts were granted Freedom of the Borough status for their long-standing work in Royal Greenwich.

The recipients

Dr Tariq Abbasi MBE

Dr Tariq Abbasi MBE has served the local community for 25 years firstly as director of the Greenwich Islamic Centre and now as the director general of the World Muslim Congress. He has been at the forefront of promoting community cohesiveness, tolerance and unity. He is also a founder member of Armed Forces Muslim Forum (AFMF).

Janet Gilman

Janet Gillman served as a Councillor in the borough for 20 years holding many senior posts including Mayor twice. She has been a governor of several schools and is active in many community groups and organisations.

Jim Gilman

Jim Gillman served as a councillor in the borough over a 30 year period during which time he became Deputy Leader and was also Mayor twice. He has remained very active in the local community and is still a school governor.

Dermot Poston MBE, JP

Dermot Poston MBE was first elected to Greenwich Council in 1968. A former Leader of the opposition, his long record of public service led to him being awarded an MBE in 2013. He was a long time Council representative on the Greenwich Theatre Board and has had a long involvement with the Bob Hope Theatre and Eltham United Charities.

Chris Roberts

Chris Roberts was Leader of the Council for 14 years, during which time the Borough secured Royal status. Prior to being elected Leader, he served as Chair of Planning and Chair of Regeneration and oversaw the delivery of an unprecedented regeneration programme in the borough. While he was Leader, Greenwich co-hosted the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012 and developed a range of public transport improvements, most notably the opening of a Docklands Light Railway station in Woolwich and the construction of Crossrail stations in Woolwich and Abbey Wood.

Recognising outstanding contribution

Freedom of the Borough is the highest award that can be bestowed by the Royal Borough of Greenwich and is awarded to individuals and organisations who have provided outstanding services to the borough. Previous recipients include Nelson Mandela, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and Royal Museums Greenwich.

The Mayor of the Royal Borough of Greenwich, Councillor Norman Adams said, "Awarding the Freedom of the Borough is a marvellous way in which we can recognise individuals who make a positive difference to the lives of many. We are extremely grateful for all the work they have done in service of the community and the borough."

Watch the ceremony

Watch the video from the ceremony

Find out more about the Freedom of the Borough and previous recipients