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Sir Anthony Jolliffe to retire as President of Society of Dorset Men

SIR ANTHONY JOLLIFFE GBE DL DSc has announced that he will retire, after 28 years as President of the Society of Dorset Men, at the annual meeting next April.

The only Weymouth man to become Lord Mayor of London told 187 members of the society at the annual County Dinner, held at Sherborne School: “I’ve now been President for 28 years and I have decided this is my last year.

“This is a great society, one of the very best county societies in the country.

“However, I will continue to give the Society my full support.”

Chairman Stuart Adam expressed members’ thanks to Sir Anthony.

He said: “You, my father Roy Adam and Gordon Hine have transformed the Society of Dorset Men into a very successful organisation.

“We thank you sincerely for your hard work and commitment to our Society, you will be sorely missed as our President.”

Members then stood to drink to the health of Sir Anthony and Lady Jolliffe.

The President of the Society of Dorset Men with his principal guests, before the County Dinner at Sherborne School.

Pictured above, from left to right: Gay Mole, Captain Peter Mole, Fran Leaper, Professor David Leaper MD ChM FRCS FACS FLS, Sophie Palmer, Hon. Tim Palmer [HM High Sheriff of Dorset,] Emma Jolliffe, Sir Anthony Jolliffe GBE DL DSc [President of the Society of Dorset Men,] Lady Georgina Jolliffe, Stuart Adam [Chairman of the Society of Dorset Men.] Photograph by Michel Hooper-Immins.

Message from The Queen

The County Dinner began with the traditional message from The Queen.

“Her Majesty sends her best wishes to all concerned for a most enjoyable gathering,” wrote HM Private Secretary.

Speech by High Sheriff Tim Palmer

Principal guest speaker The Hon. Tim Palmer, HM High Sheriff of Dorset, began by remembering the late David Woodhouse, a Deputy President of the Society, who had nominated him three years ago.

“Being High Sheriff takes you to all four corners of the county and beyond. I have discovered that there are a huge number of volunteers who keep the communities of this great county going.


“The first High Sheriff of Dorset had his head chopped-off by the Vikings, but fortunately we live in more enlightened times,” he went on.

“The last Government was planning to abolish the shrievalty, but it never happened. High Sheriffs used to exercise great power in the county. They have always been associated with law and order; my predecessors had to stand witness at executions. Indeed, the rope for all English hangings was made at Bridport.


“One of the modern duties of High Sheriffs is to get to know the volunteers of Dorset. There’s lots of talk these days about the ‘Big Society,’ but the fact is that it’s already happening in Dorset.

“A third of the county’s population are volunteers for some cause and I have seen some outstanding examples as I travel around Dorset, whose people are ever ready to support their communities.

“For example, the libraries of tomorrow will almost certainly be run by local volunteers. Dorset people know what it is to look after their neighbours,” concluded The Hon. Tim Palmer.

Gavin Henson

Weymouth Harbourmaster Captain Peter Mole, who grew up in the resort, talked of his interesting role in running one of the South Coast’s most historic ports.

He felt much at home back in Weymouth, enjoying meeting the sailors and yachtsmen, including Wales rugby international Gavin Henson, whose yacht was berthed in the harbour.

Martinstown vineyard

Surgeon Professor David Leaper spoke about his happy experiences of being in Dorset for seven years. Revealing he owned a vineyard in Martinstown, he had developed a love for Dorset.

Sir Anthony Jolliffe presented the Bryan Challis Cup for recruiting most members to Chairman Stuart Adam and the Hambro Golf Cup to Secretary Hayne Russell. The President closed the evening by thanking Stuart Adam for taking-on the Chairman’s mantle from his father.

“What a fantastic evening,” said Sir Anthony Jolliffe, “and we are grateful to Hayne and Pat Russell for all their sustained hard work on organising this and other Society functions.”

Master of Ceremonies Colin Fry, from Lyme Regis, donated his fee to the Youth Cancer Trust.