Browsing articles in "2018-2019 Mayor Jabba Riaz"
Jun 7, 2018
Mayor Jabba Riaz

Mayor’s Week: 1 – 7 June 2018

It’s been another non-stop action week, with a particular highlight being a visit to The Commandery for Oak Apple Day, the traditional spring event that commemorates the restoration of the monarchy in 1660. I was entertained thoroughly by a Horrible Histories-type performance by Worcester Live Actors who gave a brilliant rendition of the Civil War story suitable for all ages. There were a feast of activities for children and a chance to see the beautifully renovated Presidents’ Room, honouring the visit to Worcester of US presidents Thomas Jefferson and John Adams.

It was a privilege to be able to host the English Symphony Orchestra as part of the Elgar Festival. They gave a mesmerising performance in the glorious Guildhall, a fitting venue to celebrate Worcester’s most favourite son on what is now officially known as Elgar Day.

The official opening of the Royal Mail Memorial Garden at the Worcester Delivery Office, Shire Business Park, Worcester.....The Mayor of Worcester, Coun Jabba Riaz with Plant Manager Glenn George (Centre), Rev Diane Cooksey and guests at the opening. Pic Jonathan Barry 5.6.18

The Mayor opens the Royal Mail garden of remembrance. Picture by Jonathan Barry

I am always heartened to see the limitless generosity and community spirit that exists within our city and this was exemplified when I was asked to officially open the Royal Mail Memorial Garden at the sorting office in Wainwright Road. This is a remarkable project conceived and brought to life through the generosity and hard work of the staff, their families and the management at Royal Mail who went out of their way to create a special place to reflect, ponder and shed a tear or two in memory of the wonderful staff that have given the residents of Worcester over 1,000 years of service between them. They may be gone but they will never be forgotten.

As always I sign off with the message of peace not war – I firmly believe that a stronger more prosperous Worcester City is possible through love, not hate.

May 31, 2018
Mayor Jabba Riaz

Mayor’s Week: 25 – 31 May 2018

A sombre study visit to Srebrenica in Bosnia and Herzegovina brought home to me the realities of war, ethnic cleansing and genocide. During the trip, organised by the charity Remembering Srebrenica, I heard how communities seemingly at peace with each other turned in 1995 to commit the most heinous of crimes whilst the world watched. At Srebrenica, over 8,000 Muslim men and boys were brutally murdered in the biggest genocide in Europe since the Holocaust. The hate-fuelled messages and anger peddled before the genocide, is a stark reminder of what continuous exposure to a divisive narrative can lead to.

On my return I attended an awards celebration at the Worcester Arena for the fabulous contribution University students had made to the city through volunteering. I thanked the students for making Worcester such a wonderful place to live in and left them with a reminder that the law of giving is as true as the law of gravity – the more you give, the more you will get back!

The Mayor visits the A Mile In My Shoes exhibit at Cathedral Square

The Mayor visits the A Mile In My Shoes exhibit at Cathedral Square

It was a pleasure attended the launch of A Mile In My Shoes, a unique arts project in Cathedral Square. It’s basically a giant shoebox in which you literally try on other people’s shoes on and listen to their life story. It gives us the opportunity to learn, understand and appreciate someone else’s point of view. The shoe box is there for until Sunday and it’s free, so please go to see it and broaden your horizons.

That leads me nicely onto my core message of the week, making sure we take the time to understand each other, to accept our differences, to celebrate other people’s successes as much as our own, and to learn to Love not Hate in order to create a flourishing, beautiful and peaceful city.

May 24, 2018
Mayor Jabba Riaz

Mayor’s Week: 17 – 24 May 2018

It was a humbling experience to be voted in as the new Mayor of Worcester at the Annual Council meeting. It is an honour to serve the city and residents that have given me so much, and helped to get me to where I am today.

It’s going to be a busy year. The challenge of work, council business, mayoral engagements and family life will be testing, but the motivation and opportunity of giving back and helping local people will offset and outweigh any minor inconvenience.

My theme for this mayoral year is “Love not Hate”, with the aim of uniting communities and strengthening this great city of ours.

There will be plenty of events this year that promote and bring us together and I urge you to join in and support my three charities – Worcester Live, St Richard’s Hospice and Worcester Community Trust.

The importance of my theme was hammered home at one of my first events at Cafe Bliss, the Belizean café based at Worcester Arts Workshop. This was an event aimed at celebrating the contribution this little cafe had made to the city.

In eight years of trading, Café Bliss has done more to bring together communities than any initiative I have known in recent times. It is a true melting pot of cultures where everyone is welcome with open arms and no one is judged for their looks, beliefs, the way they dress, speak, physical disability, colour of their skin or sexual orientation. That shows to me that the residents of Worcester are tolerant and welcoming and also that it is possible for us all to get along with each other perfectly well, respecting each other’s views without compromising our own personal beliefs.

Remember to love not hate and spread the message of peace to your family, friends and your neighbours.

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