SHE’S got big shoes to fill, but she’s more than ready for the challenge.
Clr Margaret Fearnley has been named new president of the Huddersfield branch of the University of the Third Age (U3A).
The former Kirklees mayor has taken on the mantle from the woman who founded the hugely successful organisation, Edith Bentley, who died last December aged 93.
The former midwife set up two groups for older people living in Huddersfield and was later awarded an MBE for her pioneering work, which led similar over-fifties groups being set up across the country.
In 1984 she founded the Huddersfield U3A, one of the first of its kind to be set up in the country after originating in France.
Today it has 2,400 members taking part in over 100 educational and recreational activities and courses.
Clr Fearnley will be officially inaugurated as the president at the organisation’s next meeting.
She said: “It’s a great honour and privilege to be asked to be president and I’m looking forward to getting involved.”
“It’s a superb organisation, giving over-50s the chance to exercise their bodies and minds and socialise.
“Edith had great foresight in setting it up, she was a pioneer. Older people used to be seen as redundant once they’d given up work, but this organisation showed that they still had a lot to give.
“It’s a big honour to be asked to follow in her footsteps. I have very big shoes to fill and if I can do half as good a job as she did then I will be doing well!”
Chairman Philip Walton said committee members were looking forward to welcoming Clr Fearnley at their next AGM.