A year that has exceeded all expectations

I can't believe that we're now within days of the end of our truly memorable year as mayor and mayoress of Fareham.

Wednesday, 4th May 2016, 6:34 am
Updated Wednesday, 4th May 2016, 8:17 am
Anne and Mike Ford at the recent lighting of the Beacon on the keep at Portchester Castle in celebration of Her Majestys 90th birthday. Picture: Sarah Standing (160634-4563)

It only seems like a few weeks ago that I wrote the first of what have been 11 articles about our year in office.

Ah well, all good things must come to an end I guess and it is maybe opportune to look back and reflect on 12 months as Fareham’s first citizen.

Many folk have asked what has been our favourite event and our answer is always that while we have attended some rather nice and glitzy 
occasions, it is others that have really left their mark on us.

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Our society is underpinned by volunteers, those selfless folk who beaver away giving countless hours of their time to improving the lives of others and help make Fareham the lovely place to live that it is.

We have attended meetings and events run by a countless number of voluntary, charity and community organisations, run by a huge number of volunteers who seek neither reward nor recognition.

It has been a privilege to meet these folk and the members that they support and to say to them on behalf of the town of Fareham and it’s people.

Thank you for all you do. They are a true inspiration.

On a more active note, I have cycled round the Isle of Wight, played cricket, basketball and table football, attempted a keep fit routine and disco danced in the Fareham Shopping Centre, to name but a few.

This has all been pretty helpful as there has been one feature that seems to greet us at many of our engagements – cake!

Our hosts have been so hospitable and we have been frequently greeted with, ‘You will have a piece of cake won’t you?’

Having the centenary of the Women’s Institute in 2015 certainly did nothing to help the waistline!

We have met so many new friends, and Anne and I have in our calendar for this coming year, many community events to attend simply as members of the public, many that we were previously unaware of.

Friendships have spread even further of course, as we have become very close with the civic heads from all around Hampshire – friendships which I hope will continue.

In summary, a truly memorable year that has far exceeded anything that we anticipated. Would we do it again? You bet.

Will we get the opportunity? Unlikely!