BOB Seward, the founder of the Cork Academy of Music, was yesterday named the Cork Person of the Year 2017.
The former army officer became the 25th winner of the prize at the star-studded ceremony at the Rochestown Park Hotel.
He nabbed the title for his work setting up a voluntary non-profit school to provide an education in music literacy and instrument skills. The Cork Academy of Music was established in 1994 and designed to be a tool for social inclusion.
Some 2,000 people have passed through the doors of the academy since it was founded.
Mr Seward said he was delighted, elated and surprised to be awarded the Cork Person of the Year award 2017.
“I was among such wonderful people who have achieved so many things in their lives. Honestly, I didn’t think I had a chance, but I am delighted for our school they are the ones that deserve this," he said.
“It means a lot to me; it is a wonderful thank you after all these years.”
The recipient of the Cork Person of the Year Award 2017 was chosen by the Cork City and County Chief Executives, Ann Doherty and Tim Lucey respectively.
Mr Seward received the award from Lord Mayor Cllr Tony Fitzgerald and the Mayor of County Cork Cllr Declan Hurley.
Lord Mayor Tony Fitzgerald said Mr Seward was a worthy winner.
“I think this award reflects the work and the commitment that he shows in helping young people to express their skills and talents," he said.
“I think Bob personifies all that, he profiles that young people have other skills that they need to express and in this particular case it is music.”
Mr Seward was the February person of the year and was nominated by well known Cork Musician Joe Mac (Joe McCarthy).
This is not the first award Mr Seward has been given for his stellar work with the Cork community.
The talented musician and teacher also received the Lord Mayor’s Award for Community Development, an honorary Master of Music from UCC and an ‘Inspiration Life Award’ for his volunteer work, awarded by President Mary McAleese.
Guest of Honour was Micheál Martin who helped to launch the successful award ceremonies 25 years ago.
Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney was also in attendance along with RTÉ Director General Dee Forbes, Ted Crosbie, who became a member of the Cork Hall of Fame, and his son Tom, who is chairman of Landmark Media’s Irish Examiner.
The audience was also treated to a number of songs performed by Cork soprano Cara O’Sullivan.
The sponsors of the Cork Person of the Year award scheme were the Irish Examiner, RTÉ, Southern, AM O’Sullivan PR, Lexus Cork, Tony O’Connell photography and Cork Crystal.