Monday 20th: Our Armed Forces deserve all the recognition and thanks we can give them. So today Jane and I joined veterans from the Worcestershire and Foresters Regimental Association, with their standards, serving officers from the Army Careers Information Office and volunteers from 214 Battery RA (V) at Dancox House: we observed the raising of the Armed Forces Day Flag over the Guildhall. We shall fly this flag with pride during this week before Armed Forces Day on Saturday 25th June. As a family we know how important this is because Jane’s father, Air Vice Marshall Sir George Harvey, played an important role in the Royal Air Force during the Second World War.
Basket Ball, through the University, is a very successful sport in Worcester. Therefore I was delighted to welcome a delegation from the Lithuanian Basket Ball Federation. Mindaugas Balciuna (Secretary General of the Federation) and Tony Gouga, (the main sponsor of Lithuanian basketball) were accompanied by Mick Donovan who is Head of the Institute of Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Worcester. It is hoped that both the men’s and women’s Lithuanian basketball teams will come to Worcester for pre-Olympic training.
The Worcester Royal Grammar School has an excellent track record for its music. This was well demonstrated at the School’s Commemoration Service at the Cathedral which Jane and I had the pleasure to attend. The Headmaster, Mr. Andy Rattue, says on the school’s website “I am also very proud of our positive outlook and the balance we achieve between the serious and lighter facets of school life”. This shone through today and the Headmaster is rightly proud.
A fortnight ago I met the Editor of the “Worcester News” and said that the printed media was important for our community. So I was pleased to have an informal meeting with Tim Clarke from the “Worcester Standard”.
Tuesday 21st: Just because you are Mayor does not mean no other Council commitments. So today I had a meeting of the Smokefree Worcestershire Tobacco Control Alliance which is run through the Department of Public Health. As a previous Consultant Physician in Worcester I feel very strongly about the damage that tobacco does to the health of our citizens. We must do all we can to help those who want to give up smoking and make the whole population aware of the severe dangers.
Keeping in touch with the City Council’s activities is also vital. A regular meeting with the Managing Director (Duncan Sharkey) and the Leader (Cllr. Simon Geraghty) of the City Council is an important way of doing that… we met today.
Jane and I continue to be impressed by the talent of our young people. This evening we attended a production of “Aladdin” at the Royal Grammar School, The Grange. We were enthralled by the acting and confidence of these Years 5 and 6 pupils. They are a real credit to themselves, their parents and the school. Congratulations too to Mr. Gareth Hughes (the Headmaster) and his staff.
Wednesday 22nd: Thirty visiting French students (aged 15 – 16 years) are quite a handful when touring the parlour and Guildhall…a visit to the cells under the Guildhall and associated stories usually dampens the boisterousness. They were here on a “Language Education Course”.
The Worcestershire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust held its last AGM in Isaac Maddox House under the Chairmanship of Neil Lockwood. The Trust will now be dissolved and transfer its services to the new Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust. It was clear that a great deal has been achieved forming a firm base from which the new Trust can move forward effectively. I wish them well.
Thursday 23rd: Our City Council link with the Adentan Municipal Assembly (Council) in Ghana has been in existence for almost a year. This project, entirely funded by the Department for International Development, is progressing well. The team of volunteers, from across all parties, is advising this Assembly on “Local Economic Development” (LED). Already we are seeing outcomes in terms of locally established committees for LED, and especially for “Women in Business”, a first self-funding business newspaper (“Adentan News”) and evidence of increasing employment in small businesses. Today I chaired the Worcester team meeting to discuss the next phase which will include the production of a master plan for Adenta, training for business management and the establishment of a “Federation of Businesses”.
Worcester City is twinned with Kleve in Germany (see “Blog” 13th. June 2011) so it was a particular pleasure to welcome twelve students (aged 13 – 16 years), on an exchange visit to the Royal Grammar School, for a tour of the parlour and Guildhall.
“Worcester Live”, under the directorship of Chris Jaeger, does so much for the culture of our City. It gives us enormous pleasure, it educates us and it attracts visitors from outside Worcester which in turn contribute to our local economy. This evening was “Patron’s Evening” at the Swan Theatre. It was an informal gathering giving us all the opportunity to chat with Lord Faulkner (the Patron) and Chris about the future. The product of “Worcester Live” is for everyone: support it and enjoy it!!
Friday 24th: Worcester is clearly popular with Germany. Another group of 30 students (aged 14 – 15 years), currently on an exchange visit with the King’s School, came for a tour of the Guildhall.
Each year we look out for the peregrine falcons on St. Andrew’s tower and the Cathedral. Children love the event and this was shown in a display of art from Oldbury Park School. I assisted with judging the contributions from the 7 – 8 year olds. The other judges were Claire Williams, Erica Burlace (Crowngate Manager), and Caroline Adams and Sharon Boardman both from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. It was not an easy task. The winners will be presented with their prizes on 1st. July.
Saturday 25th: By now many will know that I have a passion for Africa and in particular for Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan and Ghana. Therefore it was a thrill for me to welcome visitors from Chumbageni School, Tanga in Tanzania. It gave me a chance to practice my “ten” words of Swahili. There is a link between Chumbageni and Somers Park Primary School (Malvern). St. James (Malvern), Hanley Swan, Leigh and Bransford and Northleigh are also linked with schools in Tanga. Find out more on www.globalgateway.org.uk/default.aspx?page=3416
Imagine a ”group” of over 100 singers on the stage at the Swan Theatre with an enthusiasm second to none and a packed house and you’ll get some idea of the atmosphere this evening. Voices Unlimited Contemporary Choir was founded by Ria Keen and Anne Bradshaw in 2008. They entertained us with songs and music from the 1940’s to the 2000’s. The event was in aid of research into Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Sunday 26th: The Worcestershire Army Cadet Force League was founded in 1859 because of the threats from Napoleon. The Force’s mission today is “to help people between ages of 12 and 18 develop both personally and physically by providing a large range of fun, exciting, challenging and adventurous opportunities”. The 5th. Annual Luncheon, held today at the Chateau Impney Hotel, was a great and enjoyable occasion with Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant, Mr. Michael A. C. Brinton JP, KStJ present.
Now that was a busy week!!