Outlook 21
News and Views from St. Mary's Woodbridge
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Five minutes with …  Nick Tony Hubbard MBE
14 Five minutes with … This page is a bit squashed, Nick Tony Hubbard MBE For over 30 years, Tony Hubbard has been an important link between church and community. A churchwarden at St Mary’s and latterly an Elder, he has also spearheaded a number of local charities and good causes, among them Cedar House, the Tide Mill Trust, Woodbridge-in-Bloom and the NSPCC. With the support of his wife Susan, Tony has given of his time quietly and modestly, a contribution recognised in the New Year Honours with an MBE. True to his unassuming character, Tony professed himself ‘absolutely flabbergasted’ to receive an award. Others who have been on the receiving end of his help and support would not have been so surprised. Born in Ipswich of Suffolk farming heritage and educated at Ipswich School, he trained as a solicitor, taking articles with the then clerk of East Suffolk County Council before moving to work in London. After employment with the Royal Borough of Kensington – ‘I had to cope with too many political factions’, he remembers – he went into private practice in London’s West End, eventually returning to Suffolk and setting himself up as a Woodbridge solicitor. Juggling act Church and community activities quickly followed, a juggling act, he hints, as the extra-curricular work multiplied. In the late 1980s, this included chairing St Mary’s wing of the Church Urban Fund for the relief of deprived towns and cities. In Parable of the Talents fashion, ‘We gave everyone a few pounds at a church service and told them to come back with more!’ St Mary’s raised more money for CUF than any other church in the diocese! Tony served on the Council for a decade, including a year as Mayor. In1993 he took on the challenge of raising £120,000 to renovate Cedar House, leased from the Council to house the Deben Family Centre and other local charities. As Chairman of Woodbridge in Bloom, he steered the town to numerous gold medals. He also oversaw the refurbishment of the Tide Mill as chairman of the Tide Mill Trust. His partnership with Susan has been all-important. Alongside her general support they have had a shared interest in the NSPCC – she as chair of the Woodbridge branch for many years and he taking the chair at county level. It has been a hectic schedule for which he has been deservedly recognised. Nick Cottam