OPINION: Looking forward to our new role - the Mayor of Harrogate, Coun Trevor Chapman
Welcome to my first article for the Advertiser as the Mayor of the Borough of Harrogate.
Firstly, may I say thank you to our former Mayor Stuart Martin and his wife, April for their two years of duty.
To carry out a year-long term of office and then because of Covid take on the role again for a second year is commendable.
Myself and my wife Janet have completed nearly six weeks in our new role of Mayor and Mayoress, and I am pleased to say we have been able to undertake several duties albeit under Covid restrictions.
I was pleased to attend Knaresborough Castle on May 3 where the Knaresborough branch of the Royal British Legion, in conjunction with the council, created a flowerbed design featuring 4,000 plants.
The flowerbed was created to commemorate the centenary of the Royal British Legion on May 15.
We were delighted to support one of my chosen charities, the Friends of Harrogate Hospital at their launch of a jigsaw with the title ‘Thank You NHS’.
The jigsaw sale is a unique fund raiser and has a humorous collage with the old adage “humour is the best medicine”.
We hope the jigsaw sells well.
I met up with Dennis Richards from Harrogate International Partnerships who gave me an introduction into all the work carried out in forging links with our twin towns, Luchon, Montecatini, Barrie and Wellington. On June 7, a celebration was held in Barrie to commemorate the 8th anniversary of the town’s twinning with Harrogate. The town in Canada is named after Sir Robert Barrie who has connections with the Harrogate District and is buried here.
During the last week in May the Commonwealth War Graves Commission brought its first ever national awareness week to Harrogate with a special socially distanced event at Stonefall Cemetery. War Graves week is a new initiative aimed at encouraging communities to come together and discover the World War heritage on their doorstep. Myself and the Mayoress attended the event along with a large number of members of the public whom I thank for showing their support.
Harrogate u3a held an awareness event at St Peter’s Church on June 2 which we were pleased to attend. The event was to encourage people of the third age to join u3a and enjoy opportunities to develop their interests and make new friends. They describe the third age as “being no longer in full time work or raising a family”. We hope as a result of the event Harrogate u3a gains new members.
On June 4 we were pleased to meet a member of staff at Saint Michael’s Hospice who gave us an indication of all the special work carried out at the hospice. We were shown the ‘Tree Of Life’ overlooking Crimple Valley, which provides a special area where families can rest a while and leave tributes to their loved ones.
We are looking forward with fingers crossed that the Covid restrictions will be eased on July 19 so that we may carry out our duties more freely.
In the meantime, keep well and stay safe.