Tribute to former first lady of South Holland and Sutton Bridge
A former first lady of South Holland and a tireless worker for her community in Sutton Bridge has died aged 87.
Frieda Minns was consort to David Dewsberry when he was South Holland District Council chairman from 1983-5, and was chosen because she was the wife of bachelor David’s late cousin, Basil.
David passed away in May, the day after his 84th birthday, and Frieda paid tribute then to his many years’ dedicated service to the community.
Frieda, a great grandmother, was 81 when she was awarded an MBE in 2012 for her services over many years to the community in Sutton Bridge.
She was a former Sutton Bridge Parish Council chairman and the present chairman, John Grimwood, said: “Frieda has been a pillar of society here over many years. She will obviously be missed because she has played such an active life in the community. This is a sad loss to the village.”
Liverpudlian Frieda moved to Sutton Bridge in 1948 while serving in the Land Army.
Speaking after she was awarded the MBE, Frieda said: “I stayed. I loved it. I love everything and everybody in Sutton Bridge. They have made me feel so welcome.
“Although I came in the Land Army, I have worked here on the land all my life and I have really enjoyed that whether it was fair weather or foul.”
She worked tirelessly with the youth club as well as serving on the governing body with Westmere County Primary School in Sutton Bridge and the former Peele School at Long Sutton.
She also chaired both schools’ governing bodies and served 17 years on Sutton Bridge Parish Council.
Frieda said in 2012 she was “shocked” to have been awarded the MBE but was also thrilled.
She said then: “It really is marvellous. I didn’t do what I did for any reward. I have just done what I wanted to do.”
Frieda lost her husband in 2002. He had been a farm worker before joining the river board.
Around 20 years ago, Frieda decided there was enough space at Peele to convert a classroom to a fitness suite, to be used by both pupils and the community. Having consulted former British Olympic shot putter Geoff Capes about what would be needed, Frieda pledged to raise £3,000 in three months with her fundraising bingo sessions and raffles – and finished up with £14,000.
While in her early eighties, Frieda continued her voluntary work and one of her proudest achievements was being on the committee that delivered the Curlew Centre, the popular community centre on Bridge Road, Sutton Bridge.
She leaves family including three sons and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Frieda’s funeral service takes place at 3pm tomorrow (Friday) in St Matthew’s Church, Sutton Bridge.