Mannville’s Lord Mayor of London

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Many famous people have come from Mannville, including hockey players and actors, but there was one individual who was born in the community on June 28, 1929, that would go on to have a great deal of success in life.
Peter Drury Haggerston Gadsden was born in Mannville when his father, Basil Claude Gadsden, was serving as a missionary priest in the community. Basil and his wife Mabel would have three children, of which Peter was the oldest.
Prior to coming to Canada, Basil had been ordained in Australia and served in the East End of London.
For the first five years of his life, Peter would live in Mannville with his family before the entire family moved back to England and began living at a rectory in Shropshire. Educated at several schools and at Wrekin College, Peter would serve in the National Service and study geology and mineralogy at Jesus College, Cambridge.
In 1952, after graduating, he began working for Fergusson Wild and Company as a minerals trader. Known as Trader Gadsden, he would be very successful in his position and would set up his own mineral consultancy in the 1960s and then become a managing director of an Australian mining company.
In 1955, he would marry Belinda Ann Haggerston, the eldest daughter of Sir Carnaby Haggerston, and they would have four daughters together.
Through his life, Peter would serve as an honory Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, the Institution of Mining and Metallurgy and a member of both Lloyd’s of London and the London Metal Exchange. He was also a member of seven livery companies and served as the founder master of the Worshipful Company of Engineers from 1983 to 1985.
In 1969, he was elected to the Court of the Common Council and was appointed as the Sheriff of the City of London in 1970. In 1971, he became an alderman for the ward of Farringdon Without, and would remain as alderman until 1999.
In 1979, he was appointed as the Lord Mayor of London and would remain in the position until 1980. On his election, he was invested as a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire. This allowed him to be called Sir Peter Gadsden. As Lord Mayor, he held a firework display on the River Thames at the climax of the Lord Mayor’s Show. This has now become a regular feature of the event.
From 1984 to 1986, he was the chairman of the Private Pensions Plan, and he would be awarded an honorary Company of the Order of Australia, the highest honour in the country, for his work on the Britain-Australia Bicentennial Committee.
Despite living in England for most of his life, he would always retain his citizenship to Canada, and he worked hard to foster a better relationship between Canada and England.
He would die of a heart attack on Dec. 4, 2006.
Information for this column comes from Wikipedia.
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