Wartime waste paper scheme wound up

[From Beds & Herts Saturday Telegraph: May 3rd, 1919]

A pleasant function took place at George Hotel on Thursday evening, when a dinner was given to mark the winding up of the Luton Waste Paper Scheme after a successful war career. In the words of Town Clerk Mr William Smith, they had seen the birth, youth and middle age of the undertaking, and now they had come to the funeral, and it was one of the happiest of interments.

However, he was sorry the time had arrived for these obsequies, because he could hardly think of an organisation produced by the war which deserved greater commendation. He was not merely flattering, but he could sincerely say that all workers in the scheme deserved the greatest possible thanks for their industrious and unostentatious service on behalf of the worthy objects.

The officials had done the work with a single mind and warm heart, and he knew of the joy it had brought to many persons. He referred especially to the prisoners of war, and said the scheme, with others, had been the means of saving many lives of our men in German hands.

Mayor Councillor Henry Impey said the secret of success had been to have the right man [photographer Mr W. H. Cox] as secretary, but he did realise the fine work of the other officers.

The Mayor then introduced a surprise in the form of a presentation to Mr Cox. He said the committee were sincere in thinking that some recognition should be given to the hon secretary, and it had been done not from the scheme but from the pockets of the members themselves.

Amidst and ovation and musical honours, the Mayor presented Mr Cox with a silver entree dish and hot-plate inscribed: “Presented to the Hon Secretary of the Luton Waste Paper Scheme by his colleagues as a slight recognition of his sterling work and of the deep esteem in which he is held by every one of us.”

Mr Cox said the presentation was a complete surprise to him, and he deeply appreciated the kindness. He had certainly given of his best, simply for the love of the good work, and this token showed how that was recognised. His association with his colleagues would be a life-long memory, and he would always regard them as his very best friends.