Aug 24, 2018
Mayor Jabba Riaz

Mayor’s Week: 16 – 23 August

It was good to hear that the former RGS student and Worcestershire Cricketer Imran Khan has been inaugurated as the Prime Minister of Pakistan.  It is a great honour no doubt for RGS and for the cricket club; I hope the city can acknowledge him in some way. I wish him well in his tenure.

This week I was privileged to be asked to officially dedicate a Blue Plaque to John Perrin and Sons at 6 Mealcheapen Street. John Perrins was a brilliant gun maker whose beautiful hand crafted pieces were the benchmark in gun making in their heyday, and went as far as the Wild West.  A collection of these guns was present at the Guildhall and we were treated to a captivating history lesson about them by Vaughan Wiltshire.  Hopefully an exhibition will follow soon. Yeee Haa!

The Worcester Festival goes from strength to Strength and on Saturday the Guildhall became alive with laughter, music, cheering and fun. The Mayors Family Fun Day turned out to be a huge success, with The Rock Choir and the Toy Soldier Band from Melton Mowbray keeping all of us entertained.

Thanks goes to everyone who made it a success – especially my Companion for the Day, Claire Brunt, who had a fantastic time and was the real star of the day. I learned about Claire’s Downs Syndrome condition and how she has adapted her life to it.  She truly stole the show with her infectious smile and brilliant dancing!

Sajeeda and I were grateful for the opportunity of meeting Claire and the hundreds of visitors on the day who supported us and our charities. The joy of seeing others happy and enjoying themselves is spiritually uplifting and nourishing. We hope everyone has a brilliant weekend and enjoys the fireworks on Bank holiday Monday!

Aug 16, 2018
Mayor Jabba Riaz

Mayor’s Week: 9 – 15 August 2018

The launch of the Worcester Festival saw a huge crowd gather outside the Guildhall to welcome the magnificent Gugge 2000, a brilliant feel good brass and percussion band in exuberant costumes who had travelled from Bournemouth to entertain us and create a wonderful buzz of excitement in the city.

It was a pleasure to visit all the stall holders at the Riverside Arts Fayre on South Quay. The stall holders and their wares captured the imagination with the breath-taking and elaborate art on display. Thank you to the organisers for making this happen.

Worcester went quackers when hundreds of people lined the bridge and riverside to witness the St Richard’s Hospice Duck Race. An amazing £2,800 was raised on the day for this brilliant charity. It was a sight to behold, my favourite decorated duck, El Quacko, led a good race before running out of quacks. I was ensured no ducks were harmed in the process!

The bells were calling on Sunday morning when I decided to tackle my vertigo and head for the dizzy heights of the Cathedral tower, where I was enthralled with the bell ringers and witnessed their mini peel. Worcester is a world leader in bell ringing and our training facilities and school are the envy of the bell-ringing world. Not only is this a skill that requires timing and rhythm, it also provides a good work out – so it may be time to hang up the cricket boots!

Presenting prizes at the Worcester Show

Presenting prizes at the Worcester Show

The Worcester Show was a big success, with thousands visiting Gheluvelt Park despite the rain. The sheer variety of activities and stalls on offer meant there was something to suit every taste or need. A huge logistical effort meant this was another smooth operation and successful event. Thank you to organisers and city council officers for a show that keeps growing in stature and prestige year-on-year.

I am as always proud and humbled to live in this wonderful city which has so much good will and love, and so much to offer.

Aug 9, 2018
Mayor Jabba Riaz

Mayor’s Week: 3 – 8 August 2018

A fantastic performance by WODYS (Worcester Operatic & Dramatic Society Youth Section) of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers marked the beginning of a busy week. The pressure to perform in front of a packed Swan Theatre under sweltering conditions proved no problem for the highly talented cast, who did themselves and their parents proud. Well done!

I was absolutely delighted to host former Mid-Worcestershire MP Sir Peter Luff at the Guildhall for the opening of the Worcestershire Remembers event. It was a brilliant programme which highlighted the role of Worcester men, women and animals in the Great War.

Sir Peter must be commended not only for his knowledge of local history and World War I, but also his personal battle with Parkinson’s Disease. It isn’t easy coming out in the open. The misunderstandings and negative stereotypes around the condition often mean people are in denial for years. There are many, many people in our city who have this condition and don’t realise it. I commend Sir Peter on openly talking about it and inspiring others to seek help.

A quick update on my Fitness Challenge. Half way, in I am beginning to make some visible gains. The key is persistence, determination and a strict diet. The latter has let me down on numerous occasions but great support from John Clarke and his team at Fit3Sixty has meant I have stayed on track to meet my objective. Thank you John!

Which leads me to my message for the week. So often we moan, groan and complain about our situation, but fail to realise that we often have the power to change our conditions or, at the very least, our frame of minds. It is amazing what small changes and a positive outlook can do to mental well-being and overall happiness. The key to attaining this is gratitude and appreciation of what you have and, of course, spreading the message of Love not Hate.

Aug 2, 2018
Mayor Jabba Riaz

Mayor’s Week: 28 July – 2 August 2018

A quieter week than usual, giving me time to reflect on my term in office so far.  In the ten weeks to date we have seen a lot of activity in Worcester; the centre is buzzing with excitement on most weekends and the BID and the City Council are doing a great job in stimulating the visitor economy.

It’s certainly been one of the busiest summers to date and the giraffes have added that something special to the atmosphere. Yet there is still more to come: the Worcester Festival is just around the corner, and the unmissable annual Worcester Show will take place in Gheluvelt Park on Saturday 12 August.

Following this, special preparations are under way to commemorate that historic event – the hundredth anniversary of Armistice Day.

We have so much to celebrate, acknowledge and appreciate that sometimes we don’t know what we had until it’s gone; often taking things for granted. One example was the news I received last week that Ben Humphrey, a friend of mine, is leaving his role as Associate Director at Worcester Rep.  Amongst other things Ben is a lecturer, producer, musician and actor.  He has brought so much joy to people in the City and beyond, that one cannot fail to acknowledge his contribution – particularly to Worcester’s arts scene. I wish him all the best in his new role.

In fact, there are many people that we haven’t recognised in this great city of ours. Many of you go about your daily lives making a difference, in your own special way. Whether it be by volunteering, teaching and coaching, adding value and enriching the lives of many, that’s what makes the City so special. I am grateful for your efforts and wish you all great success in everything you do.  I’m signing off by asking you to spread the message of love, not hate.

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Upcoming Events

  • 21/12/2018 19:30Worcester News Carol Service followed by a reception in the Parlour
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