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FROME’S Person of the Year 2015 vote has been won by Pete Dayman-Johns, vice-chairman and membership secretary of Frome’s Royal British Legion branch and a volunteer for the Memorial Theatre and Royal Air Force Association.
Hundreds of votes were received in the competition, which was organised by Frome Times to find the person who had the biggest impact on life in Frome during 2015. Pete finished the polls ahead of five other candidates.
Pete, who has spent recent years recovering from a brain haemorrhage, was nominated for being involved in such a wide range of groups and activities in the town. As well as his roles at the British Legion, he is the local welfare officer for the Royal Air Force Association, is a volunteer at the Memorial Theatre and a local day centre, and hosts sing-a-longs and bingo games at local nursing homes.
Pete said, “I’m really chuffed to have won the award. I had kind comments from people who were glad I had been nominated, which was lovely. I’ve been volunteering in Frome for 15 years but I’m not looking for a pat on the back; I just do it because I enjoy it so much.
“I certainly didn’t expect to win Person of the Year after I’d seen the other nominees who have done so many good things for the town. I’m really grateful to everyone who voted for me, and to my girlfriend Merika for all her help.”
Pete has also helped with fundraising for Nunney School and Frome’s South Parade Club, where he has been an auctioneer in attempts to raise money to save the club from closure; and for the local Terry Hill Big Band to travel to Cardiff to perform for the Gurkhas.
Ian Drew, editor of Frome Times, presented the winner’s shield to Pete last week.
Ian said, “Congratulations to Pete on winning this year’s Person of the Year award. It’s a much deserved win; Pete volunteers for a huge number of good causes in Frome and is clearly a valued member of the local community.
“All this year’s nominees have made big contributions towards making Frome the uniquely great town that it is, and they can all feel proud to have been involved with the competition.”
Other nominees were Ruth Knagg, a member of Positive Action on Cancer (PAC) and Frome Town Council, who was instrumental in a campaign to save the Whatcombe Fields from being sold; Johannes Moeller, founder and director of Edventure Frome, which started the Share enterprise last year; Marjorie Morris, volunteer for Frome Festival, Frome Society for Disabled Artists, and Save the Children; Jim Plunkett-Cole, runner and triathlete who alone raised nearly £3,000 for PAC last year; Derek Trick, member of Friends of Frome Hospital which installed a network of defibrillators in the town; and Jane Wilson, a local hairdresser who raised thousands of pounds for local charities at fundraisers throughout the year.