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.
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.
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 , 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It has been a long day today, this morning we went to the Mayor of Caerphilly’s Civic Service, A civic service is a church service in which the new mayor is blessed and god is asked to bless the works of the council, its officers and its Mayor, they are often a fancy to do with the good and great of the neighbouring counties in attendance. Jessica’s will be next Sunday, however today’s was a lovely affair taking place at St Sannan’s Church in Bedwellty and unlike some of the civic services I’ve attended was upbeat with a very positive message. After the service there was a reception at Caerphilly Council’s swanky new office outside Ystrad Mynach, however we had to leave after a very short time to head to the next thing.
After we picked up Marianna from her grandmother’s house we headed to Pontypool for their big “Party In The Park”, after handing out some stickers to the participants of the costume parade and coaxing Marianna away from all the stalls and entertainment we were off again, but this time headed to Henllys Village Fete.
While we were there, in spite of the heat, we had a lovely time, Marianna was spoilt rotten, getting her face painted with glitter, a new ball, a handbag, a custom made headband. After a refreshing drink and a sit down we came home to some Chinese take out and a nice relaxing chill out on the sofa.