11:32AM, Friday 24 February 2012
John Handcock, 81, played a leading role in organising Windsor's contribution to the Queen's Silver Jubilee in 1977.
Now the town's Chamber of Commerce has asked him to be its joint president during Diamond Jubilee year, 50 years after he first held the post.
At the annual meeting of Windsor District Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, Mr Handcock, a grandfather of four who lives at Kingswood Rise, Englefield Green, told members: "Half of you had not been born when I last held this post."
Afterwards he said he was astonished to be asked. He said: "I think Windsor is a vibrant town with a great future, despite experiencing a bad patch like everyone else in the country."
He grew up in the town, where his father was an optician - rising to be senior partner with Park Street solicitors Lovegrove and Durant for whom he worked between 1954 and 2002.
He was right hand man to the Royal Borough's first mayor Sir Kit Aston when he organised the 1977 Silver Jubilee celebrations. This included the first Rolls Royce rally - a favourite event of Prince Philip that has since become an institution.
Mr Handcock said: "The first rally was not planned to make a profit but ended up making £35,000 and led to the foundation of the Prince Philip Trust Fund."
The trust has since made donations to thousands of good causes in the Windsor area. Mr Handcock was its secretary for 25 years.
He was also captain of the lay stewards at St George's Chapel for 18 years, as well as president of Windsor Local History Group and Windsor Eton Operatic Society - a role he has held for 50 years.
Mr Handcock will share the presidency of the Chamber of Commerce with veteran Ascot estate agent Antony Edwards - also a past president.
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