Our dear friend and the former president of the Woodborough Community Association, Brian Leafe passed away last September.
Linda Taylor, current chairman of the WCA, said: “Brian was one of the first members of the WCA who contributed so much to the community of Woodborough.
“Over the years he has established and preserved many memorable events, creating happy memories for both young and old.”
Brian was a steadfast beacon of strength for our association. He was a font of information about the history of the village. If you needed a willing pair of hands, Brian was there on every occasion for events like the Hog Roast, one of his favourites, or the annual Steam Fair.
He joined the WCA a few years after it was started in 1967, and from then on was an encouraging voice along with his wife Mavis and their children. If a job needed doing or a decision made to get things rolling, you could rely on Brian to step forward and volunteer.
He served as chairman for quite a few years – and sometimes it was a family affair, with Brian as chairman, Mavis as secretary and his son Tim as treasurer.
Brian was determined to keep the WCA going and fought to make sure it survived with the help of other community-minded people like recent chairmen Richard Pietkiewicz, Laura Wardle and Linda Taylor.
One of the activities that was a favourite over the years was the village pantomime which entertained many villagers over the years and often included Brian as one of the dames.
One of the main reasons that Brian put so much time and effort into the WCA was to help people and groups in need. He ensured over the years that the WCA often helped villagers who needed support, whether it was funding for someone who wanted to attend a Scout Jamboree or the Over 60s party.
The Whist Drive that was run by Mary Derry and others in the village was transferred over to the WCA. Brian and Mavis eventually decided to transform it into a Bingo Night. Brian was a dedicated bingo player and also helped serving the tea and biscuits and handing out the prizes.
He could also often be seen at concerts, dances, and shows at the village hall, sitting at the door taking tickets and greeting everyone as they arrived.
Although he was often called upon to ‘say a word’ at public events such as the Street Market, he was a man of few words and would gladly hand the microphone over to someone else.
He also played an important part in erecting a beacon on the village’s Governor’s Field, which he enjoyed many times over the year when it was lit for village activities like Bonfire Night and the Xmas carols singing.
He even took on the onerous task of entertaining the children at Christmas by donning the Santa costume and handing out oranges and sweets. Do you think anyone recognized his gruff but friendly voice?
He also enjoyed the more recent introduction of the Community Film Nights at the Village Hall, coming along with Mavis and sitting at the back to enjoy an evening out.
There are so many different ways that Brian helped his village over the years, that is it difficult to name them all. But we can certainly say he will be missed by all of us.
Bless you Brian and may you rest in peace.