Meet Maureen Godfrey, the new chairman of East Dorset CAB
TWENTY years have elapsed since Maureen Godfrey was interviewed for a profile for the Stour and Avon magazine - and her appearance has hardly changed in that time.
This despite the fact that she is living with cancer.
Maureen has always been a high achiever and she is as keen as ever to embark on new projects.
The sort of person who finds herself elected as the chairman of any group with which she is involved, she has recently taken over at the helm of East Dorset Citizens Advice Bureaux.
Thinking of buying a new computer for Christmas?
Save 10% on all Windows 7 Custom Built Desktop Computer Packages. Gaming PC's, Media Centres & More!!
Windows Desktops Only, Purchased before 12/12/13.
Package Includes Tower, Screen, Keyboard & Mouse.
Domestic Customers Only
Contact: 0845 0177033
Valid until: Thursday, December 12 2013
In 1973 she became one of the first female managers at the Portman Building Society, but became redundant in 1991. She went on to become redundant from two other positions, but for the past nine years has worked as a registrar.
“As one door closes, another one opens, but sometimes you have to push hard,” she said.
Having a top job in financial services hadn’t been enough for Maureen. She joined the Special Constabulary in 1968, eventually becoming Divisional Commander.
“I hung up my boots in 1986 as the new Building Society Act had come out and I had my work cut out,” she said.
In 1997 she joined Ferndown Town Council - and yes, you’ve guessed it - became the first lady in Ferndown by serving as Town Mayor in 2002/3.
In addition, she represented Ferndown on East Dorset District Council from 1999-2007.
“I didn’t seek re-election as my health wasn’t robust,” she admitted.
Maureen was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2001 and underwent treatment. Sadly the disease returned four years ago and she has to see an oncologist every three or four months.
“Life goes on, and you just get on with things,” she said philosophically, admitting that she also has to contend with deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in her leg.
For 25 years she was very involved with the Federation of Business and Professional Women during which time she travelled all over the world - funding the journeys herself.
Oh, yes and she also served 14 years as a magistrate and has been chairman of Age Concern. Phew!
A skilful public speaker, she is more than comfortable to address an audience without notes.
Maureen married her second husband Phil in 1996, and she says he is very supportive of her projects.
Ferndown is very dear to her heart, as she has lived in the town all her life, as her father did before her.
So it wasn’t surprising that although she no longer represents the area on local councils, she became chairman of the Heatherlands PACT (Police and Communities Together).
She spoke highly of the work that takes place on the estate, and the efforts made by local people.
Maureen loves her job as a registrar based in Wareham but covering Wimborne, Ferndown and Christchurch.
“We have such lovely venues for weddings such as Wimborne Town Hall and Highcliffe Castle,” she said.
“I was even able to marry one of my old school teachers from Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School.”
”I am a people rather than a backroom person and I like listening. I find coping with the registration of deaths quite fascinating as well as people tell me the real life stories of the deceased. You learn so many social facts.”
Could she face retirement?
“I would be lost without my diary, watch and email,” she said, as she went off to another meeting.