The former Mayor of Havant, Councillor Leah Turner, takes a moment to reflect on her year in office.
MY wonderful year as the 42nd mayor of Havant started in May 2015, when I had been a councillor for five years.
Each mayor can choose to have a consort and I was so pleased that my partner, Andy Cousins, agreed to take on the role.
He did this with enthusiasm and wit. In fact, I was very soon calling him my Prince Philip!
My priorities were to publicise Havant borough and to support our armed forces.
Although I was unable to attend some 30 to 40 events due to their relevance or value to our borough, we did accept to visit more than 320 wonderful, interesting events, meeting lovely people and visiting places we never expected we would see.
One of the most frequent questions Andy and I are asked is, what was the best event we attended.
It’s an almost impossible question to answer.
I hope the ones listed below will give you a flavour of them.
We attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace, a reception at the Lord Lieutenant’s offices, in Winchester, and many other venues where the mayors and chairmen from across Hampshire were in attendance.
Our ‘chain gang’, as the mayors and chairs are fondly known, were a really lovely crowd.
Some of the concerts and plays we have attended have been outstanding.
The young people of Park Community School, in Leigh Park, performed to the highest standards, with big beaming smiles all through their musicals.
St Thomas More’s Primary School, in Bedhampton, gave a brilliant performance of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat.
On Hayling Island we loved visiting HIADS, the Hayling Musical Society and Youngstars.
We were so impressed by the talent of the young and not so young people from across the borough.
We visited The Spring in Havant several times and saw excellent plays and musicals.
A special mention must also go to the Havant Passion Play. What a wonderful spectacle that was.
Churches of every denomination invited us to their services.
I must mention the retirement and nursing homes that we visited too. The care given by staff to the residents was lovely to see.
We were honoured to have three royal visits during the year, Prince Charles, Prince Michael of Kent and Princess Alexandra.
We loved our mayoral year, it will rank as one of the best years of my life.