My term as Mayor of this wholesome town is now very nearly over. Over the last two years, I have represented our town as Mayor on over 330 occasions, many of course with my wonderful wife and consort, Julie. I made a decision, at the beginning of my term, to blog every event I attended. To date that blog has been uploaded nearly a quarter of a million times. I am very happy that I achieved my aim to be a most transparent and accessible Mayor.
But now here we are. It is time for me to hand over the Chain of Office. I deeply and sincerely wish Cllr Mark Cole and his consort Alex, all the very best for the times they have ahead of them. Mark was a brilliant Deputy Town Mayor and I am confident that they will be both serve this town well. Thank you Mark and Alex for all that you have done over the last two years.
You will be glad to know that I am not going to be long reviewing the highlights of the last two years. You can after all, read the blog for all that information. But I will say this: Buckingham is a glorious town. It has been my and Julie’s honour and joy to appreciate all the facets of this community.
Here in our town, our community, we have been:
- Marvelled by the sporting talent we have watched
- Awestruck by the artistic flair we have seen
- Delighted in and impressed with the poetry and singing we have listened to
- Bowled over by the business and entrepreneurial spirit that glues our town together
- Reveling in our educational institutions - the schools, the library and the university - such fantastic temples to imagination, ambition and achievement
- Moved deeply by the local charitable efforts commitments - so many people do so much for so many others
- Uplifted by our spiritual leaders - who use their grace and care to cradle Buckingham in their hearts and hands
- Endlessly charmed by the much cared for beauty of our parks and town
- Amused and entertained by many people and groups - comedy, music, drama
- And we have been humbled by the welcome and the warmth of our citizens wherever we went.
Our highlights are all around us. And will always be so.
Just before I finish this speech and give some cheques to the three charities I have been raising money for, I just want to say a few thanks.
I want to thank:
- Russell - our loud and wondrous Town Crier
- Barbara - our fine and dextrous Mace Bearer
- Paul - our new Town Clerk who is doing such a brilliant job at the helm of our ship
- Chris Wayman - our former Town Clerk who was such a help in my first year
- All the Town Council staff - but especially Katharine (our oracle), Eloise-Mary (currently on maternity leave) and Louise - who have all helped Julie and myself to manage this role. Any deviations from protocol are entirely my fault!
- My fellow town councillors who have offered wise counsel and helped me stay grounded
- And really so many others in the town who, in ways that they will never know, have made these last two years such a joy.
- And of course, Julie my wife, my Mayoress, my consort, my confidante, my love. I could write another whole speech about how much you have helped me - in more ways than you can imagine!
I will end here.
Thank you my fellow councillors, and thank you Buckingham for allowing me the opportunity to be your Mayor for these two fabulous years!
...like the Swan on the crest of Buckingham Town Council, I am now unchained and free!