January 3rd, 2006 -
Keynsham RFC President Dennis Cockbaine has been named on the New Year's Honours list having been recognised for his work in the local community.
Cockbaine, who has been involved in the club for 57 years, has been awarded an MBE.
The 84-year-old, who served throughout the Second World War with the 5th Royal Tank Regiment and also worked in personal management before retiring in 1980, is now in his 34th year as president of the Somerset club.
Over the years Cockbaine has served the club in a number of leading roles. He has been instrumental in seeing the thriving community sports club grow from a single team in 1946 to one that can boast superb community facilities catering for five senior teams as well as providing sporting opportunities for youngsters from seven to 17-years-old.
Away from rugby, in 1973, his expertise in the personnel field was put to further voluntary use when he helped to establish the Bristol and District Retirement Council, which was set up to provide advice and guidance to those facing redundancy or early retirement. He has been Honorary Chairman of the Council since 1983, and under his guidance and leadership, it has developed into a valuable resource for Bristol and the surrounding area. It constantly provides seminars, workshops and short courses, which given the changing nature of employment, are increasingly relevant to today's workforce.
"I have known Dennis for almost 30 years and he is a quite remarkable man who has dedicated his life to the service of others," said Ian Tweedie, Keynsham's chairman. "His voluntary work readily attracts attention, and which, in the view of many observers deserves public recognition.
"His enthusiasm for the game, which he still follows weekly from the touchline, even in the foulest of weather, and his dedication to the club, is an inspiration to all members, who hold him in the highest possible esteem. The energy and enthusiasm of Dennis for his fellow beings is best illustrated by the fact that in his 84th year, he is as active as ever in pursuing the voluntary work."