THE Greeks have a word for Houghton woman Ann Marchant – councillor. Ann and retired businessman husband, David, were so impressed by the welcome they received when they moved to the Greek islands three years ago that they wanted to give something back to
THE Greeks have a word for Houghton woman Ann Marchant - councillor.
Ann and retired businessman husband, David, were so impressed by the welcome they received when they moved to the Greek islands three years ago that they wanted to give something back to the community.
So, when a friend telephoned asking them to stand to prevent a right-wing party winning an overall majority, the decision was made, Ann told The Hunts Post.
"My duties on the council will involve distributing central government funds throughout the area, improving communications in what is quite a remote part of the island," she added.
Although the Marchants have kept their home in Home Farm Road, Houghton, they have been living in Volissos, in north-west Chios since 2004.
"We first visited Chios in 2000 and fell in love with it, as it reminded us of the Greece we first knew 30 years ago. As a result, we decided that we could sell our apartment in Dublin and fund the restoration of a ruin in the village," Ann said.
"We return every year to celebrate Christmas and New Year with our family, so the locals still remember us, especially if they frequent the Three Jolly Butchers."
Ann's success in being elected to Volissos Municipal Council prompted praise in the local newspaper Amani.
"We should make special reference to Mrs Ann and Mr David Marchant, the two British inhabitants of Volissos, who had the courage and the boldness to run for election in the local council of our municipality's capital town," the paper wrote.
"They deserve big thanks for the love and interest they showed for the town and the community and congratulations for their democratic and European spirit. We wish that not only other foreigners but also more of our own that live in or come from our villages, will follow their good example."
Ann, who speaks some Greek, responded: "If by bringing my experiences from around the world I can improve the well-being of the community of Volissos, then I can truly feel that I have returned some of the many kindnesses that I have received from the local people ever since we arrived here".
Apart from the weather and the language, there is one major difference between Huntingdonshire and Volissos. "Here you pay three per cent of the purchase price of your property to the council, and this is your Council Tax for life. As the purchase price was £12,000, this meant that our Council Tax for life was just £360.