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Persistence pays off for ‘old-fashioned’ new Sheriff

AN INDUSTRIAL chemist turned computer consultant can now add the role of sheriff to his CV after being elected as one of the civic leaders of the district. Sturry North councillor Tony Austin was voted in as sheriff of Canterbury at a meeting of Canterbury City Council on Wednesday. He was nominated by Barton Conservative councillor Jeremy Bellamy, who also nominated outgoing Lord Mayor Heather Taylor last year. In his speech he said he had tested his anecdotes by applying the ‘Samper test’ — imagining the look veteran Chestfield councillor Jenny Samper would give as he told them. Among those he said he rejected was the story of when Cllr Austin told him he would “make a good housewife” one day after he made him a cup of tea, before overcompensating for the imagined slight with tales of his manliness. Cllr Bellamy also revealed Cllr Austin was “quite fond” of buses, adding:

“Even when it is not the popular line, and even when the meeting has dragged on and you think you will want to kill yourself if you have to hear about buses any more, he will still persist to make sure his point of view gets across. He will be an exceptional Sheriff of Canterbury.”

Seasalter Tory Jean Law seconded the nomination, adding that she and Cllr Austin had “grown older together” as councillors. She said:

“Honest, loyal, kind, compassionate — that is the man I know. Just a little on the old-fashioned side — without fail he writes every single thing down and it drives us crazy but it is for a good reason and he can remember every single word that is said. He demonstrates faithfulness – to duty, and to Pauline, his new wife of only a few months who has made him a complete man.”

Cllr Austin said he was looking forward to finding out more about the district, and visiting many places.

Herne Bay Times, May 21st 2014


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