Community Service/ Billericay Citizen of the Year 2020

Rotary Club of Billericay was delighted to nominate Richard Leahy as the winning "Billericay Citizen of the Year"

Richard Leahy (aka Dikster)
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Our Man For All Seasons – And Reasons

Just a short time ago the Rotary Club of Billericay was contacted by the Billericay Town Council and asked if we had a nomination for Billericay Citizen of the Year.
Club Members unanimously agreed to support Richard Leahy (a.k.a. Dikster) as the Club’s nominee.

Needless to add, we are delighted that Richard was successful and is the 2020 winner of Billericay’s Citizen of the Year. 

Our nomination

Richard Leahy is Chairman of the “41 Club”, a major Billericay service club.  He is at the heart of all 4 major events for the Billericay community,  He actively supported events run by Rotary Club of Billericay (Soapbox Derby), Rotary Club of Billericay Mayflower (Summerfest, Christmas Market), Lake Meadows Fireworks (Round Table) despite not being a Member.  He helps plan all the events, contributes a wealth of knowledge, has an unmatchable work ethic, supplies vital equipment, and is always on site from long before the event starts until after it finishes.

  • Soapbox Derby - Part of the Management Committee, helped plan and prepare the course and field for two days prior to the event, on-site from 05.00 on the day, delivering equipment, setting up facilities, resolving problems and always available to help solve unexpected issues which arise.
  • Summerfest - Member of the Operations Team overseeing set-up and take-down of the infrastructure on the day. Runs the Car Parking all day.
  • Christmas Market - Member of the Organising Team throughout the year.  Set Up throughout the Town (Saturday). On event Sunday, starts at 4am with pre-event signage until close. Assistant Event Manager, fixing issues all day long until after closure.
  • Fireworks - Traffic and Parking Manager for the Event, works on set up and take down (Friday to Monday) whilst driving the van, delivering equipment, resolving issues etc as the fixer, plus Fire Pump Operator, and manager of Radford Way Parking, Liaison with the Police.

In addition to all this:

  • He is Group Scout Leader running the 8th Billericay Scout Group, weekly meeting for Cubs plus other meetings and Camps
  • He organises/runs the Emmanuel Church Fireworks Display
  • He provides BBQ food at the Chernobyl Children’s Life Line Welcome Party and runs a camp for them with the Beavers/Cubs/Scouts)
  • And finally, as if he wasn’t busy enough, he is a hard-working “fixer” at the Billericay Cricket Club.

It is difficult to think of anybody who puts more time, effort and expertise in working for the community of Billericay.  The Rotary Club of Billericay is proud to nominate him as Citizen of the Year.

“Totally Deserved”

A delighted Richard rang Peter on the day the result was announced.
“Have you heard” said Dikster.  “Heard what?” asked Peter, fearing a problem in these coronavirus times.

“I’ve won” said Dikster.  “Billericay Town Council’s Chairman, Jim Devlin, has just rung me to tell me that I am the new Billericay Citizen of the Year.  I wanted to let you know and thank you for nominating me.”

“Great news,” said Peter, “It’s totally deserved. We can’t think of anybody who does more to support our community, whether it’s major events for the whole town, or smaller help activities for such as the scouts, church, Chernobyl Children’s Life Line”.How do you feel?”

“Delighted, of course.  Who would have thought that I would have even been nominated for Billericay Citizen Of The Year, it was a complete surprise. Something to really be proud of. I know some of the other nominees and it’s a great honour to be chosen against such an outstanding set of candidates.  Thanks must go to my Sarah and Joshua - none of this would have been possible without them.

It was a shame we all couldn’t be winners as we all bring something to the town in our own way.  Billericay is a very lucky Town.

There won’t be an award ceremony yet, because of lockdown and social distancing, but they’ll send me the certificate and there’ll be a ceremony once the crisis is over.”

This is not the only recognition Dikster has received for his service to the community, several years ago he was also awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship by our daughter Club, the Rotary Club of Billericay Mayflower.