Paul Binder made honorary freeman of Havering
A musician who became the director of a Romford band after signing up as a child has become Havering’s newest honorary freeman.
Paul Binder from the Romford Drum and Trumpet Corps was made an honorary freeman of the borough at the last full council meeting.
Paul said: “It was an honour to be given the title.
“Its so nice to know that my work is being appreciated by people in Havering.”
The 42-year-old father of two was presented with the award by Havering Mayor Cllr Melvin Wallce at a special ceremony surrounded by his family and friends and Havering Councillors.
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Paul joined the Romford Drum and Trumet Corps when he was just 11 in 1981.
He played the side drum for three years, until 1985 when he was promoted to the rank of Drum Major.
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In this role he won 17 of the 19 competitions he entered including winning the title of National Youth Marching Champion Drum Major for four consecutive years from 1986-89.
In 1988 he received the Mayor’s Civic award from the Mayor of Havering Cllr Robin Adaire for services to Havering.
In 1989 Paul left the band to advance his skills as a drum major, but in 1998 he was invited back to take on the role of bandmaster.
Over his time in the band, they have worked with professional military and civilian bands.
In 2003, the band also started competing in competitions again and have been undefeated in eight successive contests picking up the Supreme Champions Award at the National Youth Marching Band Championships for the last two years.
In March 2004 he arranged the bands first ever trip to the United States, where the band had the honour of being the first English band to take part in the prestigious St Patrick’s Day Parade in Chicago.
In 2009, Paul was given the new title and role as band director.
He said: “I remember that I only really joined the band because my brother and his friend were in it, the thought of being band director at that age would have frightened me.
“People often say that the band do a lot of good work, but behind the scenes we are a family and a lot of hard work goes into it.”