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23 Oct 2014

Deputy Mayor Diaries: Caring, Chairing and Ceremony

My last three engagements have been of such variety I thought I would tell you about them all in one place.  The role of Deputy Mayor, and Mayor, is very, very varied and the following show you just how different your duties can be.

On Thursday  October I had a 'caring' engagement.  I was asked to attend the Macmillan coffee morning at Emmbrook Court retirement complex.  I had a lovely afternoon talking to residents and hearing all about their complex of flats.  I also got the chance to spend a few pounds in support of Macmillan and joined in (and lost) the tombola and raffle.  I also picked up a few cakes to share with my boys and some bulbs for the garden.

It was lovely listening to residents.  One lady I talked to worked at Wilson School which is where I went to primary school!

On Tuesday  14 October I took the day off work to take part in the ceremonial opening of the courts.  This was the 'ceremony'engagement.  I wore the full robes of the Deputy Mayor of Reading and, with the mace being carried before me, lead the mayors from surrounding towns and boroughs into St Marys church for the ceremonial service for the opening of the Crown Court.

This is an ancient tradition and everyone was in their full ceremonial dress.  The judges were be-wigged and be-ribboned, the High Sheriff was proceeded by a ceremonial sword and the choir of Eton College sang Zadok The Priest.  The singing was so beautiful the hairs on the back of my neck stood up.  It was an amazing event.

On Tuesday 21 October I attended the AGM of the Reading Association for the Blind.  The Mayor is their president so I took his place and chaired the AGM.  As well as the usual election I over saw the vote on the proposed merger with Berkshire Blind.  I made sure time was taken to hear peoples views on the proposal and that th meeting was run fairly and efficiently (good practise for full council when I'm Mayor!).

I won't share the result as that's not my story to tell but it was a privilege to be part of their AGM.

So there you go.  Being Deputy Mayor is never dull and is filled with variety, interesting stories and a little bit of magic.

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