Harlaston Parish Councillor Eric Tiso retires after 56 years!
Some say it’s a thankless task being a parish councillor, most people don’t stand in the elections’ and local volunteers are sought to be co-opted onto the council.
I say volunteering as a parish councillor is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in.
Volunteers of which our parish council is made up of are often the glue that holds a community together. Volunteering allows you to connect to your community and make it a better place.
Eric Tiso has been doing just that every day for an incredible 56 years. To put that enormous amount of time into perspective 56 years ago Birmingham City lost the FAC cup to Manchester City, and we were in conflict with the Middle east with the Suez canal……so I can hear you say not much has changed!!!!
Today we want to pay tribute to the man who has been the CONSTANT in our community and has overseen many changes in this village. Changes that make it a better place to live from its raw rural community back in the 50’s.
We have people like Eric to thank that we still live an idyllic village unspoilt by time.
We are fortunate to live in such a place. This is a village with a real heart and I know that Eric has put his heart and soul into ensuring it retains it quintessential English village characteristics.
Most of us here have a story or two about Eric….in his own indelible style he has left an impression on most of us.
I remember 12 years ago when John and I moved into Haselour he regaled us with stories of his time when he worked there in 1947 and transported the milk down to Elford station.
Also the time the Germans bombed Model Farm…. their target being the railway line and blew the windows out in Haselour.
Of course we once had a school in Harlaston of which I’m reliably informed that Eric almost blew it up when he decided to attach fireworks to the school gates…..he was then known has Guy Fawkes from then and has continued to put rockets into individuals in the community when he wanted something done.
Memories and knowledge which we need to harness…so Eric when are you writing the book on Harlaston!!!!!! I’m sure it will be a best seller you can count on sales of at least 300!!!
Some say Eric has a forthright manner….I believe his forthrightness is a trait of his leadership qualities where his actions have galvanized this community to achieve a common goal for the last 56 years.
We are very lucky to live in such a place and we have Eric to thank in shaping this village.
So Eric whilst you have been our leader your dear wife Mary has been the epitome of diplomacy and support in your 56 years has a parish councilor. Mary has gone about her business in a refined and dignified manner, unruffling your feathers when needed and supporting you in your responsibilities to this parish. So today his also to say THANKYOU to Mary for being our Dennis Thatcher to your Margaret!!
So finally Eric I would just like to leave you with a quote from Winston Churchill…
You make a living by what you get, but you make a life by what you give.
You have certainly GIVEN to the community of this village and on behalf of us all we thank you and would like to offer a small gesture of our appreciation.