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Published 02 May 2017

Father Joseph Mills

Father Joseph Mills has been named a Freeman of West Dunbartonshire in recognition of his decades of service at St Mary’s Church in Duntocher.

As well as his two decades at St Mary’s, Father Mills served West Dunbartonshire as Chaplain of St Patrick’s High School in Dumbarton and as Chairman of the Chaplain’s Association. Archbishop Tartaglia of Glasgow announced in February that Father Mills, having reached the age of 75, would be retiring in accordance with Canon Law.

Father Mills was ordained into the priesthood in 1967, with 2017 marking his 50th year as a priest. And on Friday, April 28, Father Mills was named a Freeman of West Dunbartonshire at a civic event hosted by Provost Douglas McAllister at Clydebank Town Hall.

Provost McAllister said: “Father Joseph Mills has served with great distinction across various parishes in the Glasgow Archdiocese. However, it is his service in particular, over the last two decades, to St Mary’s Duntocher which should be commended by West Dunbartonshire Council.

“Father Joseph Mills has, as a result of his compassion, love, understanding and kindness, been a positive influence in the lives of not only his parishioners, but across the whole spectrum of society in West Dunbartonshire.

“It is a great honour to confirm that, as a result of his quite outstanding contribution to the communities of West Dunbartonshire, Father Mills has been offered the Honorary Freemanship of West Dunbartonshire.”

Father Mills joins former Provost Alistair MacDonald, former Councillor Margaret McGregor, Sir Jackie Stewart OBE, Sister Rita Dawson MBE, Rev Ian Miller and Mr Duncan Mills as a Freeman of West Dunbartonshire.

A scroll presented to Father Mills on the night reads: “In recognition of his 50 years of distinguished service as a Parish Priest within the Archdiocese of Glasgow, as an Assistant Priest in Dumbarton and in particular the last two decades at St. Mary’s RC Church in Duntocher; for his commitment to and participation in the education of children in his role as Chaplain of St Patrick’s High School in Dumbarton and as Chairman of the Chaplain’s Association, in appreciation of his significant contribution to the social wellbeing of the people of this area; for his compassion, love, understanding, kindness, humour and overall positive influence he has had on the lives of not only his parishioners but on the whole spectrum of society throughout West Dunbartonshire.”