Mayor’s Blog – 22nd April
On Monday morning the Mayoress and I were met by the smiling faces of one of Harmony Hill Primary School’s P7 classes, who had arrived for my Look and Listen visit. We thoroughly enjoyed all the children asking me lots of questions about my role as First Citizen. Winners of the competition were 1st Jack Simpson; 2nd Sophie and 3rd Anna McBride and Bobby John Rheines. Well done to all the children for doing so well in the quiz, I was very impressed!
After this I headed off to host a reception for Ballymacash LOL. It was a great event and thoroughly enjoyed by all in attendance.
Tuesday began with a photoshoot to launch the Council’s Domestic Violence training initiative. The Council has held a number of training sessions for its Line Managers on the difficult and emotive subject of domestic violence and abuse and has produced guidelines which have been adopted as good practice across the organisation in relation to domestic violence and abuse.
Pictured with Lisburn City Council’s Gold Workplace Charter Award, which is accreditation for the “In the Workplace Charter on Domestic Violence”, is Mayor, Alderman William Leathem with Line Managers from the Council. Also pictured is (front left) Ms Lindsay Harris, from Onus, Official Trainer and Mrs Brona Turley, Environmental Health Officer at Lisburn City Council with responsibility for the management of this initiative.
Following an afternoon meeting, I closed off a busy day by chairing the monthly Council meeting.
Wednesday started in full flow again with the Mayoress and I attending the opening of the ‘From peace to prosperity’ project at the Maze, Long Kesh. I am also looking forward to the first RUAS Balmoral Show to be held in the grounds of the Maze, which I hope will be a resounding success. This is the largest agricultural show in the country and with the many exhibitors on show, including the Council which is taking a Tourism and Leisure stand, there is something for all the family. We hope our local retailers and those in the hospitality and tourism industry see added benefits during the show’s duration. The Balmoral show will run at the Maze Long Kesh from 15th–17th May.
On Wednesday afternoon I met with Lisburn Golf Club and members of the Council’s Leisure Services Department to discuss some joint opportunities in relation to Lisburn’s official designation as a European City of Sport 2013. Further information on this is available on www.lisburnecos.co.uk, the dedicated website for European City of Sport.
In the evening the Mayoress and I had the pleasure of being invited to the ‘Country Friends Forever’ concert in Island Hall. This was in memory of local woman, Mavis Hoare, who sadly lost her breast cancer battle in 2012. The event was organised by her daughter Glynis Hobson and family in aid of Action Cancer. The five artists who performed; included local favourites Warren Smith, Country Harmony, Boxcar Brian, Ann Williamson and Fergal Flaherty, who were all friends of Mavis. This was an inspirational fundraising evening and importantly raised awareness of breast cancer.
On Thursday morning we were delighted to welcome another P7 class from Harmony Hill Primary School to my Look and Listen visit. These pupils were shy to start with but they soon found their stride in the question and answer session. The winners of the competition were 1st Ashley Green; 2nd Paige Wolley and Jessica and 3rd Evan Welch. Congratulations to all the pupils.
After this I was whisked away to launch this year’s Mayor’s Carnival Parade and the Lisburn Pipe Band Championship which will take place in the City on Saturday 11th May. The Parade will be exceptional, with its mix of performance, art, carnival and community fusing cultures from across the globe while celebrating our own celtic connections and creativity on our doorstep. An unmissablehighlight, glorious in all its Tartan technicolour is The City of Lisburn Pipe Band Championships. The best Pipe Bands and Drum Majors are expected to descend on Wallace Park to entertain hundreds of enthusiasts with their superb cacophony of traditional Scottish music and culture. I look forward to warmly welcoming hundreds of revellers to our city.
Celebrating the launch of The City of Lisburn Mayor’s Carnival Parade and Pipe Band Championship on Saturday 11th May is His Right Worshipful the Mayor of Lisburn, Alderman William Leathem (far right), Councillor Thomas Beckett, Chair of Leisure Services for Lisburn City Council (back 3rd from left) and carnival participants from St Joseph’s Primary School, Stepping Stones, Arts Ekta and Street Wise. The group are turning their attention to one of the spectacular highlights in Lisburn’s civic calendar when over 10,00 people will take to the streets to soak up the colours and atmosphere of one of Northern Ireland’s most vibrant and popular carnival parades.
In the afternoon I welcomed several Canadian visitors to the Mayor’s Parlour before chairing the Lisburn Arts Advisory AGM in the ISLAND Arts Centre.
On Thursday evening I attended the fifth biennial Lisburn City Business Awards. This Council-organised gala night celebrated the spirit of enterprise in Lisburn, as the cream of the City’s business community competed in the 15 Award Categories. I was delighted to be joined by Alderman Jim Dillon; Chairman of the Economic Development Committee; in celebrating the sheer breadth of business talent, dedication and commitment that exists in Lisburn. It was an excellent evening and an honor to pay tribute to the hard work and inventiveness that the City’s businesses display on a daily basis, to maintain Lisburn’s thriving economy.
William Caufield, Robert McCammon, Deputy Mayor, Councillor Margaret Tolerton; Adrian Donaldson, The Right Worshipful the Mayor, Alderman William Leathem; Mayoress, Kathleen Leathem; Alderman Jim Dillon and Councillor Jenny Palmer.
After a very busy night St Joseph’s Primary school arrived for its Look and Listen visit on Friday morning. Once again we had a great morning’s fun and I enjoyed hearing all the good things the children had to say about Lisburn. The winners of the competition were 1st Ellen Rush; 2nd Caitlin Kerr and Maebh Kietly and 3rd Liam McKeown and Megan McShane.
Later that day I met with four cyclists who were undertaking a gruelling 500-mile sponsored tandem cycle ride from Mallen’s Head to Skibbereen in aid of my Mayoral Charity Stepping Stones. Stepping Stones is a local charity which provides training programmes and opportunities for young adults with a disability or a learning disability. I would like to thank Iris, Chris, Ian and Ciaran who generously proposed the tandem cycle ride idea and will be putting in the leg work! I am humbled by the generosity shown by so many and wish to thank everyone who has supported my Charity Stepping Stones.
The Mayor, Alderman William Leathem, the Mayoress and local elected members attended a coffee morning to raise money for the four local cyclists who are participating in a 500 tandem cycle ride for the Mayor's Charity Stepping Stones. Pictured with the tandem are cyclists - Iris Gallagher, Chris Cairns, Ian Tolerton and Ciaran McGrath and Stepping Stones trainees Conor Magee and Christine McRoberts.
On Saturday afternoon I made my way down to Lisburn Racquets Club and had a very enjoyable time at the Special Olympics Ulster Regional Badminton Trials. I was extremely proud of those badminton players from Lisburn 2gether Special Olympics Club. Later that evening I met with the Pride of Ballymacash Flute Band in the Mayoral Parlour.
To round off my busy week the Mayoress and I attended the Anzac Commemoration Ceremony at the Ballance House. The ceremony marks the anniversary of the first major military action by Australian and New Zealand forces in the First World War and commemorates those soldiers who lost their lives. It was very moving and humbling to be in attendance remembering the sacrifices made during World War One.
The Right Worshipful the Mayor
Alderman William Leathem