Mayor’s Christmas round up includes tributes to chaplain, town crier, tourist chief - and to the Ely Standard for ‘telling the story of the community’
PUBLISHED: 12:01 13 December 2018 | UPDATED: 12:01 13 December 2018
With an introduction from town crier Avril Hayter-Smith and grace from the chaplain the Rev Mike Banyard, the annual dinner of the City of Ely Council got off to a flying start.
The mayor, Cllr Mike Rouse, welcomed guests and thanked the Rev Banyard for his chaplaincy duties during his year of office.
“I have known Michael for many years – he is a former member of this council- and thought and many others remarked upon it too that the civic service he prepared this year and helped to deliver was pitch perfect,” he said.
The mayor also thanked Avril, an honorary freeman of the city, and her bellman Graham, who promoting the city so well and particularly for organising the annual town crier championships.
“They never fail to enhance any event they attend,” he said of the couple.
He thanked tourism manager Tracey Harding and her colleagues for the ‘vital role’ they play in the economic health of the city.
The mayor also thanked Editor John Elworthy of the Ely Standard “whose reputation as far as I was concerned came before him.
“I was a member of the county council when he took over as Editor of the Ely Standard and I received what can only be described as rather dark warnings from my fenland colleagues about this man Elworthy.
“And then I met him. A real journalist dedicated to sniffing out a story and exposing political shenanigans but also committed to his newspapers to reflecting and telling the story of the community, his readership.”
The mayor said: “He has raised the Standard locally against all the trends in print newspapers. I believe we have a strong community in Ely with good stories to tell and I believe that our local newspaper helps us tell that story,
“Thank you John, I am delighted that you can join us this evening.”
Cllr Rouse also paid tribute to his daughter Cassie, this year’s mayoress, for her work on behalf of the city and for helping to organise the dinner.
“I do thank her for her support during this year,” he said.
The mayor added: “I know for some of us here this has been a challenging year in terms of health – may 2019 be better for you.
“Next May there are elections. If the city council has a Christmas dinner this time next year there will probably be many different faces around the table but it will still be the city council doing its best for the city we love.
“To all of you who now have that that honour and responsibility, we still have a lot to do before the civic year end but before then have a peaceful and enjoyable Christmas.”