Well what another good week it has been. Francoise and I are really enjoying our Mayoral duties and we would like to thank everybody we have met along the way for their kindness and words of encouragement and support.
On Monday afternoon, we were honoured to welcome to the Mayor’s Parlour the Consul for Italy and the Consul General for Portugal. Francoise and I had met Chiara and Manuel at the recent Italian National Day celebration. We got on like a house on fire and they were really interested to learn more about Tameside, so I thought it would be nice to invite them to the Town Hall to have a look at the Mayor’s Parlour, Council Chamber and of course our award winning museums.
Later, we were delighted to receive Mr John Wood MBE and his lovely family. You may remember that John, who lives in Droylsden, received the MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for his services to hairdressing and the community. John famously cut the hair of footballer Georgie Best and more recently has become a champion fundraiser for St Damian’s RC Science College . It was a pleasure to meet John and his family and to offer in person my congratulations on receiving his award.
On Tuesday evening, Francoise and I were invited to join Members of the Dukinfield District Assembly at Dukinfield Town Hall for the town’s annual Senior Citizens Party – and what a good party it was! Everybody had a wonderful time. The atmosphere was brilliant and the entertainment and potato pie went down a storm. My congratulations go the District Assembly and indeed to everybody who helped organise this event for what was a truly memorable occasion.
On Wednesday morning I visited Dukinfield Town Hall once again, but this time for a Healthy Schools Celebration with some of our younger citizens of the Borough. Seventy one Tameside schools have achieved national Healthy School Status. The celebration event provided an opportunity to see and hear about some of the work they have been doing. It showcased activities in a variety of areas such as drug education, emotional literacy, schools’ health events, physical activities, healthy eating initiatives and working with support agencies. I was pleased to be able to support the occasion and to present plaques and certificates to the schools in recognition of their achievements. I was also surprised and delighted when everybody began singing happy birthday to me with great gusto. I thought I had managed to keep the event a big secret until that point!
On Thursday lunchtime, I joined the Executive Leader of the Council at an unveiling ceremony in the foyer of the Council Offices. The Black Knight Sculpture, which was once located in the Arcades Shopping Centre , can now be seen outside the Tourist Information Centre. It is great to see the sculpture back on public view and ready to be enjoyed by the many visitors to the Council Offices.
From here, I headed over to Denton West End Primary School to watch a wonderful performance by the Year 6 pupils. The students will shortly be leaving Denton West End to move on to their new secondary schools. It was a pleasure to be able to support their production and to have the opportunity to wish them well and every happiness for the future.
On Friday, I was delighted to attend the launch event of the new Park Café. The much loved building of Bayley Hall in Hyde Park has been taken over by the Council’s Learning Disability Team and has been transformed into a café as an alternative option to day services. The café will give people with learning disabilities the opportunity to improve their chances of getting a job by working in a busy café and outside catering business. The café will teach catering preparation and service skills ready for employment in the hotel and catering industry. It was heartwarming to see the hall back in use and looking so good and it was wonderful to meet the students and team behind the Park Café and to see their enthusiasm and commitment to this project. I wish them every success – they certainly deserve it.
There were no Mayoral engagements on Saturday so it was nice to spend a quiet day catching up on a few jobs at home.
It was a big day on Sunday, as it was my Mayoral Procession and Civic Service. Thankfully the weather stayed fine and many friends, colleagues and representatives of local organisations came out to support the occasion. We started off with a procession from Hyde Park to St Paul’s RC Church for a Civic Service at 11 o’clock conducted by my Chaplain, Father Denis Maher. As the service came to an end, the parade re-formed and we marched back to Hyde Park where the team at the Park Café served light refreshments. It was a fabulous day and I felt very, very proud. My sincere thanks go to everybody who supported the event and all those people who worked so hard behind the scenes to ensure the occasion ran smoothly. It will be a day my family and I will remember always.
From Hyde Park, we proceeded directly to Gee Cross for the annual Well Dressing where we had a lovely afternoon with the local community and ladies from the WI. The Well Dressing has become a much loved event in the town’s calendar and Francoise and I were delighted to be able to take part.
And that brings another busy week to a close.
On Tuesday we will be attending the Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace so I hope you can join me next time to see how we got on.
Bye for now.