Promotion To Civic Office

I got what amounts to a promotion Today.  After Two years of being Jessica’s consort when she was deputy and then Mayor, I’ve decided to give it a go myself as Vice Chair (Deputy Mayor) of Cwmbran Council. After the Councils Annual General Meeting I was unanimously vote into office.  I also found out that I’m the youngest person to ever hold the role, and the first person under the age of 30 to be in the position.

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Myself and the newly elected Chair, Cllr Peter Cathcart

The position comes with a snazzy new chain of office courtesy of Thomas Fattorini (Manufacturer of insignia, honours and awards, By Appointment of Her Majesty The Queen), which is actually the second honour I’ve received from Fattorini’s in less than a fortnight.

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The pendant of the Vice Chair of Cwmbran Council

I look forward to undertaking my civic duty for the year and as a personal aside I must take this opportunity to say how proud I am to serve my community, and how grateful I am for this chance.

 

John Fielding Memorial

John Fielding , was a local recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for bravery that can be awarded to British forces. He was awarded a the Victoria Cross for acts of gallantry during the Anglo- Zulu War at the battle of Rourke’s Drift, John Fielding (know as Private John Williams) , along with two others, held several rooms in the besieged hospital saving a total of eight patients from the attacking Zulu Hoards.

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This year marks 139 years since the battle of Rourke’s Drift, and every year the Cwmbran and District Ex Serviceman’s Association organises a parade a memorial service in honour of John Fielding. This year it was my privilege to attend in a dual capacity as Mayor’s Consort, but also as a member of Cwmbran Council.

Royal Welsh Show

Today I attended the Royal Welsh Agricultural Show near Builth Wells in Powys. The Royal Welsh Show is one of the largest agricultural and livestock shows in Europe and is organised by the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society  and the show has been held for the 110 years.

As well as the various displays of livestock and farming, which as a city boy, hold very little interest to me beyond the novelty value, there are a great number of traders from businesses across the length and breadth of Wales, and since it is first and foremost a farming show, a good number of these traders have something to do with the food industry. So for me much of the day was given over to sussing out which would be the best examples of food and drink to partake in after our official lunch. This was also interspersed with hunting out the stalls giving out things like free pens and bag.

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Swag Haul From the Royal Welsh Show

The Two traders that I would recommend the most would have to be Celtic Country Wines and The Snowdonia Cheese Company between the two of them, I could quite easily have bankrupted myself.

It was however a very tiring day, with a lot of walking, not aided by Marianna who was becoming quite restless by the end of the day, and rather unfairly for a pale skinned ginger, she wound up getting a fairly impressive tan.

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Marianna Being A Police Lady at the Dyfed Powys Police tent at The Royal Welsh Show

 

Civic Service

Today was Jessica’s civic service, which is essentially a church service designed for the new Mayor to have her or his work blessed by the church. It harks back to a time when religion played more of a role in civic life than it does today (although it is still more of an active part than you might think). Its also an occasion to dress up and celebrate a great achievement with friends and family.

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Holy Trinity Church

We were chauffeured to the church (Holy Trinity, Pontnewydd) and were escorted to our seats by the church wardens, where we engaged in many hymns and the usual prayers of exultation to god. I then gave the following reading from the book of kings:

“The king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for it was the greatest and highest place in the kingdom, and there he offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar to god.  

While he was in Gibeon, the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream, and said unto the king, “Ask what you want from me.”

King Solomon answered god by saying, My Lord you have shown great mercy to your servant, David my father, for he walked before you in faithfulness, righteousness, and with uprightness of heart toward You. And You have shown him great kindness in giving him a son to sit on his throne now this day.

Now, O Lord, my God, You have made, me, your servant a king in place of my father David, yet I am still a child, and do not yet know how to go out or come in. And I your servant am in the midst of your people, whom you have chosen. A great people. A people so numerous that they cannot be numbered or counted.

So My Lord God give unto me your servant an understanding heart to judge your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who else is able to judge among so great a people?”

And It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked for such a thing. God said unto him, “Because you have asked this and have not asked for such things as long life or riches or for me to take the lives of your enemies, but you have asked for yourself wisdom so that you may have discernment in your judgement,

I now do according to your words. I have given you a wise and an understanding heart, so that there has never been any like you in the past, and that there shall never come another like you.

And I have also given you that which you have not asked, both riches and honour, so that no kings will compare to you all of your days. And If you will walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments as your father did, then I will lengthen your days.”

Solomon awoke and found it was a dream. But when he came to Jerusalem and stood before the ark of the covenant of our Lord. And there he offered up burnt offerings and offerings of peace and fellowship. he made a great banquet for all of his court, friends and followers and did so in the name of the lord.”

After I gave my reading it was followed by another reading from our local Member of Parliament and then a reading by Her Worship The Mayor, then we were treated to a performance by the Pontnewydd Ladies Choir before The Reverend Harald Thomas gave the sermon, there were a few more hymns, the collection plate went around and the national anthems were sung, Thus ending the service.

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Mount Pleasant Hall

We were then bundled back into the car and driven to the reception and break neck speeds, so that Jessica, myself and the Mini Mayoress could greet everybody as they arrived at Mount Pleasant Hall, where the staff and the caterers had done a fantastic job decorating the place to make it, in Marianna’s words, Mum’s special day.DE3ooUOXgAAtsJS.jpg

We were subjected to a lot of photo’s and a lot of small talk, but it really was a wonderful day, marred only by the fact that I didn’t get to take home our tables centrepiece bouquet.

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The Mini Mayoress In Her New Party Frock and Hat (My god I dress my child well)

 

Velothon VIP

Today was the Wales Velothon a, 140 km (87 mile) cycle ride beginning in Cardiff and going through the counties of Caerphilly, Torfaen, Monmouthshire and Newport before finishing back in Cardiff town centre.

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As the route goes through Torfaen, The Mayor and by extension I as her consort were invited to attend the race at the start/ finish line in the VIP section, and as I love going to the VIP and fancy civic functions I was more than happy to attend.

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VIP Pass

Aside from the massive heat it was fantastic to spend a day doing something out of the ordinary and get to be present at an event that means a lot for my country, and sees people from all over the world come to take part, with people coming from as far as Trinidad to compete. And I must say that in the VIP tent was one of the nicest buffets I’ve had since starting as Mayor’s Consort (not that I keep score. Honest.)