It was with great sadness that I received the news that a body had been recovered from the river a week last Friday. It was later confirmed that this was the body of the missing teenager Tom Jones – or Jonah, as he was affectionately known. On Sunday evening I was humbled to have been part of a candle lit vigil held in Tom’s memory, organised by his friends.
Approximately a thousand or so friends, family and residents of the City and further afield stood by Sabrina Bridge in what can only be described as a sea of light from mobile phones and candles, which spread across the bridge and both banks of the river. The love and outpouring of grief could be felt by all.
Tom’s parents, whom I am in awe of for their bravery and gracefulness under the circumstances, addressed the crowd to say thank you. They lifted people’s spirits and reminded us of Tom’s joyful and happy character. I addressed the gathering too, saying that the city had adopted Jonah as one of its own sons. My mayoral theme of ‘Love Not Hate’ was in full display, with so much empathy shown. Everyone felt a sense of belonging and togetherness – a proud moment for the City.
On a lighter note, it was an honour to host the Worcestershire Rapids at the Guildhall last week. Together we celebrated a fantastic achievement that will be etched in Worcester’s memory for eternity.
The Rapids are a young enthusiastic, down to earth squad, built on strong foundations of, trust, hard work, belief, teamwork and determination. They are ably led by the cool, calm and collected Moeen Ali, who showed that David really could beat Goliath! An enthusiastic crowd greeted the team on the doorsteps of the Guildhall, before they lifted the T20 trophy and signed autographs. It is a great example of what can be achieved without big money and mega star signings.