British Legion fundraisers notch up 85 years

A COUPLE who share 85 years of service to an armed forces charity have been awarded with medals of their own this week.

Doris and Maurice Saich from Waldgrooms, Great Dunmow, have dedicated most of their lives to collecting funds for the town’s branch of the British Legion.

At a special ceremony the married couple, aged 86 and 87, got recognition for their efforts alongside 59 other collectors.

Doris said she was surprised and delighted with her medal for 45 years hard graft. “It is a very good cause,” she said. “We started collecting when you had to walk miles and miles. Now poppies are available in most shops so it is a little easier.”

She added: “Maurice used to collect and hold down a full time job so that is why he has done slightly less time then me – but we both love to collect together as a couple.”

The award ceremony was the first one in the 89-year history of the branch and as a result a host of awards, ranging from five-year to 45-year, were handed out.

Branch chairman Margaret Cole said: “Members have wanted to do an awards ceremony for a while now, so we can say a big thank you to all the amazing collectors that do such a wonderful job for us.

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“At the start of the year we decided that this time we would do it. So we got the archives out and started working through them.

“Our collectors around the Dunmow district are a fantastic team and Maurice and Doris are a fine example of the lovely people that help out.”

The awards will now become an annual event and next year 14 people will be honoured for their efforts at one of the branches regular monthly meetings.

Whilst going through the archives it was also revealed how well Dunmow collectors have done over the years.

“We seem to average about �10,000 per year,” said Mrs Cole. “In fact in the last seven our branch has collected �74,000 – an amazing effort.”

The British Legion is a charity that cares for the welfare of members of the armed forces of any age. It also leads the annual Poppy Appeal program which raises millions of pounds every year.

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