I was reminded yesterday that we (who live in the Borough of Southend-on-Sea) now have a new mayor.
According to a local newspaper report, written just prior: “SOUTHEND’S new mayor will take over the borough’s reins on Thursday. The new Mayor of Southend Fay Evans will be elected at the town’s traditional Mayor-Making ceremony from 3.30pm. Hundreds of council officials, residents, family members and friends have been invited to attend the council chamber at the Civic Centre in Victoria Avenue, Southend, to witness the official inauguration of Mrs Evans. Mrs Evans is deputy mayor and Conservative ward councillor for West Leigh. She will take over as first citizen of the borough from Judith McMahon”.
I was reminded that one year ago when Mayor Judith (for one year Southend’s first citizen but back now to being a humble councilor) took over (when the two ahead of her in the queue couldn’t) I blogged on the matter giving my views. Since becoming active in the local community some fifteen years ago, I often encountered the mayor at the time and have seen at least 15 come and go. It seems to me most discharged their duties admirably and being mayor brought the best out of them. Judith has been no exception. Casting my mind back I recall being given an award by her, her dedicating a bench in our local park in memory of two community minded residents who had died, opening an inter-faith event I was helping to organize and encouraging those taking part in the town’s annual carnival. She performed all her duties with great aplomb. For a while I was also part of Judith’s charity committee and her efforts promoting her chosen charity, Southend YMCA, were amazing.
Those who know Judith will probably describe her as a bit of a character, mostly in the nicest sense, with a great heart to go with her “interesting” take on life and politics. It seems to me each mayor brings something special to the role and Mayor Judith has been no exception. It should be said, her strong Christian faith was what likely directed her service to the community and she was not one to hide the fact, having earned the right. From where I stand she has served her town in the best traditions of its first citizen, seizing on an opportunity that she had not reckoned on with great fortitude. While I think she may have rambled on a bit when it came to speaking, what she did say was seasoned with salt and always designed to uplift. Thank you Mayor Judith for your sterling service to my town and best wishes as you resume life as a humble citizen.