Fareham Mayor Mike Ford says he has thoroughly enjoyed the Christmas festivities this month
December was always marked in our diary as what would be, we had no doubt, a really special month and in truth it has exceeded our expectations.
We have had so many invitations to Christmas related activities and met so many wonderful folk, that this month, in particular, will live with us for many years.
One significant change has of course been that the huge amount of cake that we are offered at many of our engagements being replaced by mince pies. Certainly not Slimming World friendly I’m sure, but a nice change.
Meeting Santa and the cast of the Ferneham Hall panto Dick Whittington at the Fareham lights switch on was a lovely occasion with hundreds attending on a dry yet windy evening, as was the opening of the Christmas Grotto in the shopping centre.
We are becoming expert carol singers having attended services for the Townswomen’s Guild, Fareham Philharmonic Choir and St John Ambulance, among others, recently.
We were privileged to be invited to Portsmouth Cathedral for The Portsmouth Grammar School’s Christmas concert, where the sound of over 1,000 students packing out the Cathedral singing Christmas favourites really did make the hair stand up on the back of our necks.
The hard work of so many volunteers to organise the plethora of coffee mornings, fetes, tea parties and concerts that we have attended has been truly
awesome and we extend to all of them our thanks and congratulations.
What does Christmas day hold for the Mayor? well something very different to the usual day we spend with our family.
We will be attending the Christmas day lunch at St John the Evangelist in Fareham where up to 100 folk who would otherwise be alone on the day, will receive a traditional lunch.
We will no doubt be serving, clearing up and undertaking numerous other duties, but this will be a really special day in our calendar.
Post Christmas, I have a real treat in store on new year’s day when I will be joining all of the other ‘lemmings’ who race down the slipway at Stokes Bay for a bracing dip in the ocean.
As many of you will know, GAFIRS are one of our charities this year, so into the sea I will go. My mayoral chains will be for photo purposes only as I don’t think that Fareham Borough Council will be too happy to see their chains disappear under the waves on my shoulders.
I am indebted to the Deputy Lord Mayor of Portsmouth for lending me a wet suit to protect me a little from the elements!
It only leaves me to say to all readers, but in particular those volunteers who have given so much of their time for the benefit of others in 2015, a very happy and peaceful Christmas.