HE IS a dedicated member of the Gosport community and now Geoff O’Neill has been rewarded for his hard work.
Honorary Alderman Geoff was awarded title of honorary freeman of the borough after being put forward by Councillor John Beavis.
Over the past 50 years, Geoff has worked as a councillor, spent a year as the mayor and has worked for the Gosport Community Association.
He is also an active member of the Holy Trinity Church and helps organise charity events.
Geoff said: ‘It was with extreme gratitude that I accepted the honour.
‘I am really delighted and it was a really special day for me.
‘I came to Gosport from London 50 years ago and I got involved in the area from the very off.’
One of Geoff’s first jobs in the town was at the Ultra Radio and Television Company at its Gosport factory, where he acted as company social secretary.
He also organised a number of events for the employees which raised a large amount of money for local good causes. Shortly after moving to the town, Geoff joined the Gosport Community Association before being elected onto the council for the Leesland ward in 1976. He remained councillor for 12 years.
He added: ‘I immensely enjoyed my time as a councillor and as mayor in 1986.
‘It has been a real privilege for me to be involved in so many organisations in Gosport.
‘None of that would have been possible without the tremendous amount of support I have received from my family and friends.’
Cllr Beavis said Geoff worked tirelessly for people in Gosport.
‘For 30 years, Geoff has served the residents of this town with distinction,’ he said.
‘He has worked tirelessly for a number of organisations and charities including the Lee-on-the-Solent Lions Club and the Holy Trinity Church.
‘Geoff has always been involved in fundraising for the mayor’s charities and achieved so much in his mayoral year.
‘He is of great distinction who has constantly give his time freely.’