New park in St Ives to be named after Henry and Joan who gave so much to the town
- Credit: BERMAN FAMILY
A new park in St Ives is to be named after Henry and Joan Berman who gave decades of service to their community.
Henry taught several generations of the same families in almost 40 years at St Ivo School where he was responsible for setting up a mini-zoo with creatures ranging from insects to alligators and Joan became an MBE after working with people with learning difficulties for more than half a century.
Berman Park, between Huntingdonshire District Council’s One Leisure facility and the River Great Ouse, is scheduled to open to the public on the Easter weekend.
The park was named after a public vote was held with three choices on offer and was developed as part of a housing scheme in the former St Ives golf course area.
Council leader Ryan Fuller, who was one of Mr Berman’s pupils, said: “A new park in St Ives is something that the district councillors for St Ives have been working to deliver for some time and I am delighted that we will soon be able to officially open the newly named Berman Park.
“We cannot wait to welcome residents to the park at a time when our open spaces have never been more valued by local people.”
The couple’s son Mike said: “In addition to being extremely proud that Huntingdonshire District Council have agreed to name the new park in St Ives in honour of mum and dad’s memory, the family would like to thank everyone who put their names forward and for all the kind things they have said about them. We were all very touched.”
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Henry and Joan Berman moved to St Ives in 1957 when Mr Berman started teaching biology at St Ivo School. He founded the Entomology and Natural History Society, known as Entsoc, which introduced generations of students to the natural world.
Joan joined the local branch of the Women’s Institute in 1958 and through that became part of the then St Ives Society for Mentally Handicapped Children and Adults, an association lasting for more than 50 years which led to her becoming an MBE.
The couple, who died a few months apart in 2017, were also involved a wide range of clubs, societies and charities.