A member of Haverhill Town Council’s staff who once saved the life of a heart attack victim was rewarded for completing 20 years of service.
Thirty people, including past and present staff, customers and family members organised a surprise tea party for Mary Argent who was celebrating her 20th anniversary at Haverhill Arts Centre.
Mary joined the St Edmundsbury Borough Council staff in 1996, two years after the reopening of the Centre and transferred to the Town Council in 2005. She was described by arts centre manager Nick Keeble as ‘the glue that keeps us all together.’
Nick added: “Mary is a key member of staff who makes sure that she gives customers the very best service possible, even going as far as saving their lives!”
Mary’s first aid skills were used to good effect when she brought U3A (University of the Third Age) choir conductor Charles Shipp back to life after he had a heart attack on the arts centre’s stage in September 2011.
Mr Shipp attended the tea party and also made a speech of appreciation.
Mary was presented with flowers, a gift and a letter of long service from the council.
Haverhill Mayor Betty McClatchy, who was conducting one of her final public engagements in Haverhill before handing over the mayoral chains to Cllr David Roach, attended the tea party.
Mrs McLatchy also recognised the long service records of technicians Ben Prickett, who has worked at the arts centre for 11 years, Dylan Mills who has put in 13 years and Katrina Dray who has worked in the bar for 14 years.
Town Clerk Colin Poole said: “I am a relative newcomer to the team at the arts centre and it is very reassuring to work with such a devoted and experienced team of people.”