Accolades for city’s famous son to mark anniversary

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HIS influence on the city is without question, lasting to this day more than 80 years after his death.

And York Council has now marked the 100th anniversary of the year that Joseph Rowntree was given the freedom of city by paying tribute to the famous philanthropist and businessman.

The champion of social reform and chocolatier with the family business, Rowntree’s, was given the honour on May 17, 1911. He created the Joseph Rowntree Village Trust, which was originally set up to build and manage the garden village of New Earswick, the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust and the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust.

York Council’s cabinet member for corporate services, Coun Julie Gunnell, said: “I feel privileged to be able to mark this milestone because without Joseph Rowntree our city would not be what it is today.

“He was one of York’s most prominent residents, who helped to build not only the foundations of our chocolate heritage that we know today, but also play a significant part in widening the research and development in social housing.”

During his acceptance speech when he was given the freedom of the city, Mr Rowntree claimed he would “value (the accolade) highly during the remainder of life”. He died in 1925.

paul.jeeves@ypn.co.uk