Sheila Hands Over The Reins

PUBLISHED: 16:07 27 April 2009 | UPDATED: 10:51 04 May 2010

THIS is the last column I am writing for the Ely Standard as mayor, as I hand over the reins to Cllr Richard Hobbs at the Mayor Making ceremony on May 11. Recent highlights include the reopening of The Maltings cinema, with the showing of Slumdog Milli

THIS is the last column I am writing for the Ely Standard as mayor, as I hand over the reins to Cllr Richard Hobbs at the Mayor Making ceremony on May 11.

Recent highlights include the reopening of The Maltings cinema, with the showing of Slumdog Millionaire the first in an excellent programme of Oscar winning films. On Sunday, Jeremy and I attended the annual St George's Day service for scouts in the cathedral, during which St George again slew the dragon. Scouts, cubs and beavers from all over the district marched into the cathedral through a ceremonial arch on Palace Green, constructed by Explorer Scouts. Numbers have grown by 14 per cent in the last year, and they are the fastest-growing scout group in our area. Some leaders received awards marking periods of service up to 30 years - a magnificent achievement.

On the previous Saturday my daughter-in-law's Tsigane Piano Trio gave a dazzling performance in the King's School Recital Hall; this raised £660 for my charities, bringing the total up to £2,300. £100 was then added in a surprise donation from the Ely City WI group. This is in addition to almost £2,000 worth of sponsorship for Ely In Bloom and the Jubilee Gardens Winter Garden.

An exciting weekend lies ahead with the Eel Day celebrations and the Town Crier Competition in Jubilee Gardens on Saturday. In the evening, there will be a special May Day concert in the cathedral. On Sunday, at 2pm, I will be starting the Great Ely Fun Walk organised by the Ely Hereward Rotary Club, and at 11.30 am on May 4 the Friends of Jubilee Gardens will be presenting a May Morning concert, performed by the Goldsmith Singers and dancers from the Octagon Studio.

I am hoping to raise a little more money on Bank Holiday Monday when Jeremy and I will be holding a garden tea party, from 3pm until 5.30pm at 33 Egremont Street. A cup of tea and cake or biscuits will be included in the £2.50 entrance fee. Please do come and support this event, which is being assisted by members of the Youth Council and other groups such as Earth and Helping Hands. Cross your fingers for some sunshine.

I have had a wonderful year and have met a great many Ely residents doing a fantastic job for the community. I am most grateful for excellent support from my fellow councillors, the city clerk and her assistants, and from generous supporters of my charitable efforts. It has been a great privilege to be the mayor of Ely, and I have been proud to wave the flag for our wonderful city. Many thanks to the Ely Standard for allowing me to share some of the highlights with you, the readers.

Sheila Friend-Smith.


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