Mayor’s Week: January 29 – February 4

Mayor’s Week: January 29 – February 4

It is 78 years since Soviet troops liberated Auschwitz-Birkenau but the images and memories never fade for the survivors of the Holocaust. We were privileged to hear first hand from Mindu Hornick MBE as we marked this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day last week.

Secondary school students from across the city joined civic and faith representatives, rapt at her experience. We heard readings on the theme of ordinary people like you and me, having allowed this to happen. Still allowing it to happen in places across the world. And left sombre and moved by hauntingly beautiful music and the pledge of young people to remember the genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Darfur and Bosnia. Our concern must be, where next.

Over the weekend I was really pleased to read out best wishes from Hezhou at our own Chinese New Year celebrations held at the Porcelain Works site. Lots of people of all ages watched the Lion Dances, firecrackers, and the giant panda as we welcomed the year of the rabbit. I am one – how many more of you are equally blessed with longevity, peace and prosperity? Not being much of one for symbols and beliefs, I was nevertheless struck by the fact that my zodiac sign is a water element too.

Nice to see friends there from way back and also some of the students from China who had been to the Parlour a few weeks ago.

The Deputy Mayor and I had a good catch up with our ‘esses’ talking about life in the Parlour and the amazingly diverse people and things you get to meet in this role. What I’ve found helpful and what he can look forward to.

But I finished the week still thinking about Mindu and hope that her message to us all means we can stop being ‘ordinary’.


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