Saturday, 18 January 2020

Memorial for company boss who backed Bloom

A MEMORIAL to the late managing director of a Henley company is set to be installed in the town.

The Henley in Bloom committee has offered to create a flower bed or similar landmark to honour Simon Gale, of Southern Plant & Tool Hire, who died in March, aged 59.

His company, which is based at Centenary Business Park off Station Road, sponsors Henley in Bloom as well as many town clubs, organisations and events.

The announcement was made at this year’s Gardens of Henley Awards ceremony, which took place at the town hall last week and was attended by Mr Gale’s widow Sue, his son Murray, the company’s general manager, and the firm’s commercial director Vincent Rose. who presented several awards.

Town councillor Kellie Hinton, vice-chairwoman of Henley in Bloom, said: “We couldn’t run the Bloom initiative without the funding Southern Plant have consistently given us and I would like to ask if we could find somewhere to permanently make a tribute to Simon. We’ve been truly affected by the loss of one of our biggest champions.”

Later, Cllr Hinton said: “It was lovely to be able to share the evening with Sue, Murray and Vince and to pay tribute to Simon’s dedication to the community, which began long before my involvement.

“Southern Plant is one of the biggest sponsors of just about every event in this town. It is so supportive and we enjoy a very good working relationship.”

Mr Gale was diagnosed with bile duct cancer in 2015 and given the all-clear in 2017 but the disease returned soon aftewards. Two years ago, seven of his staff, including Murray and his brother Robson, competed in the Tough Mudder endurance challenge near Hambleden in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support, which helped the family.

Mr Gale jr said: “As a family, we’re incredibly touched to have been offered this amazing gesture in honour of Simon, who ingrained himself into the Henley community since starting Southern Plant 31 years ago.

“He always did as much as possible to support local businesses, sports teams, events and the community in general and we’re all so proud of him.

“We love being a part of Henley and I hope we can continue our support of this great town in the way he would have wanted.”

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