A “delighted” Harborough district councillor has become the first woman president of the Market Harborough branch of the Royal British Legion.
Cllr Barbara Johnson said she is “honoured and humbled” to be taking over the prestigious position at the local RBL unit from the much-loved Rev John Morley 77.
“I am very happy that I am becoming the new president of the Royal British Legion in Market Harborough.
“I’m honoured, humbled and totally delighted all at the same time,” said Barbara, a Liberal Democrat councillor for Market Harborough’s Welland ward.
“I am the first woman president of our town’s branch of the RBL – and that gives me even more pride.
“I am looking forward to putting my shoulder to the wheel and supporting the Royal British Legion here in Market Harborough as much as I can,” said Barbara, who was chairman of Harborough council in 2019-20.
“I always worked as hard as I could to get behind the organisation when I was council chairman.
“The RBL does so much fantastic work for thousands of men and women all over the UK who served in the military.
“Many of them put their lives on the line fighting in the front line for our country – and many were injured and some sadly paid the ultimate price.
“We help the families of the fallen as well as ex-servicemen and women.
“The Royal British Legion is run by an amazing group of people and I’m very proud to be joining them as we celebrate our centenary this year.
“Market Harborough is and always has been very supportive of the RBL and former members of our magnificent armed forces.
“And I will be put my heart and soul into working flat out to support the legion here in the town for as long as I can.”
Stewart Harrison, 74, chairman of Market Harborough RBL, told the Harborough Mail: “We are thrilled to get Barbara on board.
“She did a cracking job backing us to the hilt when she was chairman of Harborough council.
“We have never forgotten the time, effort and sheer enthusiasm that she put into supporting out iconic annual Poppy Appeal as well as all the other campaigns that we staged.
“It’s a real pleasure and a privilege to welcome Barbara as our new president – and I know that she’ll give this crucial role all she’s got.”
Paying tribute to retired RAF Wing Commander John Morley, Stewart added: “John has done a first-class job as our president over the last few years.
“He’s worked tirelessly to promote the vital work that we do and helped us to raise many thousands of pounds to fund the critical work that we do.
“John has carried out his tasks with distinction, dignity and total dedication.
“Every one of us in the Market Harborough branch of the RBL would like to thank him for the brilliant work he has done,” said the RAF and Army veteran.
“And we wish John all the best for the rest of his life as he leaves us after all this time.
“He will always be a dear and valued friend of the legion in our town.”