Kay and John Sharp.“Mum always said it was better to wear out than to rust out.”

That’s how Kay Sharp summed up her lifetime of dedication to Maitland yesterday when she received the badge for Freeman of the City.

The mayor of Maitland, Cr Peter Blackmore, made the honour official at the Maitland Regional Art Gallery, where more than 40 friends, family members and dignitaries attended.

Among the dignitaries were Maitland MP Robyn Parker and councillors.

“Born and raised in Maitland, Kay represents the generosity of spirit and hard work this city is renowned for,” Cr Blackmore said.

Mrs Sharp’s first job was as secretary to the town clerk when she was 16 years old.

From that she co-founded a secretarial training school and was the first general manager of Hunter Valley Training Company.

Mrs Sharp was also electoral secretary for “Mr Maitland” Milton Morris.

“I would just like to say thank you to her husband, John, for giving her the nod and accepting my offer of the job,” Mr Morris said.

“I just want to thank you Kay from the bottom of my heart for everything you did,” he said.

Mr Sharp said it was an honour to be Kay’s husband.

“Her work and work ethic was just part of our life and I didn’t want to hold her back, so I supported her like she supported me,” he said.

“I’ve never felt like I’ve been in her shadow and that is a testament to her.”

The honour of Freeman of the City was bestowed on Mrs Sharp by unanimous vote of the council on April 23.

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