A WAR hero who sparked a police search after leaving his care home to travel to Normandy for D-Day celebrations is set to receive a special honour today.
Bernard Jordan, who became a media sensation when he fled The Pines care home in Hove, is due to be made an honorary alderman of Brighton and Hove.
The 90-year-old, who served as a Hove borough councillor for 23 years as well as serving as mayor in 1995/6, will join a very select group of former public servants to receive the honour.
In a speech seen by The Argus, mayor Brian Fitch, who championed the honour to be given to the Second World War hero, is set to describe Mr Jordan as “the nearest thing to a living legend that our city has”.
Mr Jordan returned from his trip to Normandy last month a national hero after making a spontaneous trip by ferry to France with his medals tucked under his coat.
On his 90th birthday days later he received 3,000 cards.
The title of honorary alderman is purely a mark of respect and is given to councillors with a minimum of 15 years service or 12 years service with a notable position.
As well as a borough councillor, Mr Jordan served as a Brighton and Hove City councillor for two years following the move to become a unitary authority in 1997.
Coun Fitch is due to say in today’s speech: “The attributes that made him such a sterling councillor and activist – his energy, spirit, focus, determination and sense of humour – remain.
“As does his thirst for experience and adventure and his appeal and ability to connect.
“It’s this mix of self-effacing bravery and humour, wisdom and warmth, experience and perspective that prompted me to nominate Bernie as honorary alderman of the city of Brighton and Hove and I am delighted as the current mayor to be able to reach across the years and offer my hand on behalf of the council in recognition of your years of service and for the honour you brought to our city.”
He will join 26 fellow councillors who have received the honour since 1997.
Councillors are expected to vote through the recognition at the special meeting today in the council chamber of Brighton Town Hall today at 3.30pm prior to full council.