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Philip Evans


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Remembering Juanita Maxwell - Honiton’s most famous mayor

Thursday, 01 May 2014

Honiton’s famous former mayor Juanita Maxwell Phillips is to be celebrated with a commemorative talk and exhibition at The Beehive on Monday, May 12th. The talk, entitled ‘One Woman and Her Vote’, will be given by Dr Julia Neville, author of a recent book on Mrs Phillips called ‘Viva Juanita’. It will address new findings on Mrs Phillips’ life including her meeting with Emily Pankhurst, her work at the War Office and when she championed women’s causes. Mrs Phillips' great niece, Caroline Merry de Bayer, plans to be present. She recalls visiting her famous great aunt at Awliscombe as a child and said: “I had little idea of her achievements including being the first lady mayor in the West Country and mayor of Honiton ten times as well as active in so many spheres. “I think she would have been impressed with The Beehive because she campaigned for better recreation and arts facilities.” Honiton mayor David Foster will open the lecture, which will be chaired by co-publisher Tony Simpson, who did research and talks on Mrs Phillips in 2009. He said: “It is fitting the lecture is at The Beehive since Mrs Phillips fought hard to obtain Allhallows Recreation Fields and a theatre for Honiton in the 1930s when there was little money for such things. “There are some familiar issues in the campaign for The Beehive.” The lecture begins at 2pm in the function room upstairs (there is a lift).

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