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Geldof given freedom of City of London for charity work and contribution to music

Bob Geldof received the Freedom of the City of London. Picture: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire Bob Geldof received the Freedom of the City of London. Picture: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire

Monday, September 16, 2013
6:35 PM

Musician and charity campaigner Sir Bob Geldof has received the Freedom of the City of London in ‘recognition of his outstanding contribution to international social justice and peace’.

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At a ceremony in the Guildhall today Bob Geldof received the Freedom of the City of London. Picture: Sean Dempsey/PA WireAt a ceremony in the Guildhall today Bob Geldof received the Freedom of the City of London. Picture: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire

The 62-year-old was given the prestigious honour at a ceremony in the Guildhall this morning after being nominated for the title by the City’s Chief Commoner George Gillon and Deputy Kenneth Ayers, former Chief Commoner.

The corporation said the Freedom was being bestowed the Irish former frontman of the Boomtown Rats because of his services to the music profession and his charitable work, in particular his fundraising for in Africa.

Sir Bob was instrumental alongside Midge Ure in setting up Live Aid in 1985, a pair of concerts in Britain and America featuring the biggest stars in the world to raise money for the famine going on in Ethiopia.

The ceremony today began with him reading aloud the Declaration of a Freeman, and ended with him being greeted by Chris Bilsland, Chamberlain of London, as a ‘Citizen of London’ and the presentation of his framed parchment certificate.

Singer Bob Geldof received the Freedom of the City of London. Picture: Sean Dempsey/PA WireSinger Bob Geldof received the Freedom of the City of London. Picture: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire

The Freedom of the City of London is believed to have begun in 1237 and enabled recipients to carry out their trade, and today people are nominated because it offers them a link with the historic aspect of the city and one of its ancient traditions.

A spokesman for the City of London Corporation said it is also offered to individuals to help celebrate a significant achievement, or to pay tribute to their outstanding contribution to London life or public life.

Unfortunately, many of the so-called traditional privileges associated with the Freedom, such as driving sheep over London Bridge, no longer exist.

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