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Tributes paid to town stalwart after seven decades of service

Tributes have been paid to Mac McGinn, of Sheringham, who has died aged 91. Photo: KAREN BETHEL

Tributes have been paid to Mac McGinn, of Sheringham, who has died aged 91. Photo: KAREN BETHEL

Archant

Tribute has been paid to a long-standing town councillor and volunteer who has died after almost seven decades of serving his community.

Mac McGinn, was Sheringham town council chairman in 1998 when a twinning charter was signed with the German town of Otterndorf. Pictured next to him is that town's then-mayor, Hermann Gerken. 
Photo: Archant LibraryMac McGinn, was Sheringham town council chairman in 1998 when a twinning charter was signed with the German town of Otterndorf. Pictured next to him is that town's then-mayor, Hermann Gerken. Photo: Archant Library

Sheringham’s Mac McGinn, who was known for his keen wit and sense of humour, has died aged 91.

Mr McGinn set up a youth club in his hometown of Heacham as a 13-year-old in 1944, which sparked a lifelong commitment of helping others.

As a young man he was in the Air Training Corps at Hunstanton and enjoyed boxing, football, target shooting and flying.

He developed a love of football playing as Heacham’s goalkeeper, and was also a founder member of Hunstanton Youth Club.

Mac McGinn, handing over safety alarms to Starlings Newsagents paper deliverers in the 1980s. PHOTO: EDP LIBRARYMac McGinn, handing over safety alarms to Starlings Newsagents paper deliverers in the 1980s. PHOTO: EDP LIBRARY

Mr McGinn became a flight mechanic in the Royal Air Force, a role which saw him posted to West Raynham, London Biggin Hill, Germany and Cyprus. He also served in Eqypt, Iraq, Pakistan and evacuated casualties in Korea. He was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM).

Mr McGinn returned to Norfolk, first to manage a garage in Hunstanton, where he also re-started Hunstanton Youth Club.

He moved to Sheringham with his family in 1964 to work as the town’s youth and community officer, and was involved in building Norfolk’s first purpose-built youth and community centre, which was named the Teen and Twenty Club.

Speaking in 2017, he said: “Coming from a family of nurses, it’s in my background – we are all caring, community-minded people, so I suppose it’s in my blood.”

Mac McGinn (left) being presented with an award for services to football in 1983 by Norwich City player Duncan Forbes. Photo: MAC MCGINNMac McGinn (left) being presented with an award for services to football in 1983 by Norwich City player Duncan Forbes. Photo: MAC MCGINN

Mr McGinn helped organise the Sheringham Carnival for 26 years, and set up the town’s first youth football club in 1965.

Madeleine Ashcroft, town mayor, said Mr McGinn would be missed by many people including fellow town Sheringham town councillors - he had joined the council in 1972 and was still on it this year.

Mrs Ashcroft said: “Mac McGinn has played a visible role in many capacities in Sheringham for some 50 years.

“His contribution through to the town council in particular has been comprehensive and spectacular.

Mr McGinn (right) with Otterndorf Burgermeister (mayor) Hermann Gerken in 1988. Photo: EDP LIBRARYMr McGinn (right) with Otterndorf Burgermeister (mayor) Hermann Gerken in 1988. Photo: EDP LIBRARY

“His knowledge of people, places and the history of the town and its inhabitants was extraordinary.

“There are many people who will miss Mac’s presence but his sound advice to all would be: ‘listen, consider, draw on experience, discuss and then decide together’.”

MORE: Sheringham town councillor celebrates 45 years of serving the community

Mr McGinn also served as a district councillor for 12 years, and was Sheringham’s mayor from 2001 to 2004, which he said was his proudest achievement.


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