FORMER Lord Mayor of London Sir Anthony Jolliffe is to retire as president of the Society of Dorset Men after 28 years.

He announced his intention to step down next April at the annual County Dinner at Sherborne School.

Sir Anthony, who is the only Weymouth man to become Lord Mayor of London, said: “I’ve now been president for 28 years and I have decided this is my last year.

“This is a great society, one of the very best county societies in the country. However, I will continue to give the society my full support.”

Chairman Stuart Adam expressed members’ thanks to Sir Anthony.

“We thank you sincerely for your hard work and commitment to our society, you will be sorely missed as our president."

Guest speaker High Sheriff of Dorset Tim Palmer remembered the late David Woodhouse, a deputy president of the society.

He said: “Being High Sheriff takes you to all four corners of the county and beyond.

“I have discovered that there are a huge number of volunteers who keep the communities of this great county going.”

He added: “The first High Sheriff of Dorset had his head chopped off by the Vikings but fortunately we live in more enlightened times.”

Weymouth Harbourmaster Captain Peter Mole talked of his role. Surgeon Professor David Leaper spoke about his experience of being in Dorset for seven years.

Sir Anthony Jolliffe presented the Bryan Challis Cup for recruiting most members to chairman Stuart Adam and the Hambro Golf Cup to Secretary Hayne Russell.

The president closed the evening by thanking Stuart Adam for taking on the chairman’s mantle from his father.