Sheringham town councillor celebrates 45 years of serving the community
- Credit: Archant
When Mac McGinn set up a youth club in his home town of Heacham as a 13-year-old in 1944, it sparked a lifelong commitment to serving his local community.
He went on to carve a career as a youth worker, and, after moving to Sheringham in 1964, not only became involved in running the town carnival, but also began a four-and-a-half decade stint in local government.
Mr McGinn, who relocated to Sheringham with his wife Marjorie and their two children after taking on the job of youth and community officer for the town, became involved in the carnival shortly after settling in, and went on to help organise the annual event for 26 years.
'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,' he said. Mr McGinn was elected onto Sheringham Urban District Council in 1972 and when, two years later, the Local Government Act came into force, giving town councils more responsibility, he was made chairman of the newly-formed Sheringham Town Council.
He went on to serve on every council committee, also completing three stints as council chairman and a 12-year spell as a district councillor.
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As chairman, McGinn was involved in negotiations for the sale of land for the Splash leisure centre on Weybourne Road in 1986, the same year setting up a £7,000 fundraising appeal to restore the town clock, which had been handed back to Sheringham as part of the local government reshuffle.As a youth worker, Mr McGinn was instrumental in getting the town's first community centre built on Cromer Road in 1968 and took on the role of chairman when the new centre opened in Holway Road in 2013.
He also set up the town's first youth football club in 1965 and was presented with an award in 1983 for services to football.
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He says his proudest moment was being made the town's first mayor in 2001 and, while he has no plans to retire – and says he wouldn't turn down the chance of a fourth stint as chairman – Mr McGinn, 88, would like to see some changes made to the town council.
'What I would like is for more people getting involved in how the town is run,' he said. 'And while age and experience are all very well, what I think we really need is more young people to keep the town moving forward.'