THE story of kind-hearted Sam Copley is one which all Huddersfield’s youngsters should learn.
He was a kind-hearted entrepreneur who saved Huddersfield and a countless number of its people from potentially falling into dire need and squalor.
He was born here but emigrated to Australia as a teenager where he made his fortune in insurance, formed his own bank and returned to his home town in 1919.
He then played a crucial role in the town’s history as middleman between Huddersfield’s council and the Ramsden family when it put the town up for sale after 300 years.
There was a danger the land could have fallen into the hands of landlords and who knows what life would then have been like for many thousands of Huddersfield’s inhabitants.
He bought the Ramsden estate and then sold it to Huddersfield Corporation but didn’t make a penny out of the deal.
Here was a man who used his wealth to enormous good.
He cared for others and felt he should use money to give Huddersfield the chance to ‘buy itself’ and protect both the town and the people.
He was an old-fashioned philanthropist and Huddersfield owes him a great debt of gratitude. It’s wonderful that an exhibition panel has been unveiled in his honour at Huddersfield Town Hall and will be a constant reminder of the spirit of philanthropy.
He is a true hero of Huddersfield and what a contrast to many of today’s heroes who are so often celebrities or footballers.
Some use their wealth to good effect – and they should talk about it to encourage those who don’t.