A positive year ahead without rancour – plus wedding nuptials too – were heralded by 59-year-old Councillor Guy Loosmore when he was installed last night (Monday) as Marlborough’s new Mayor.
He revealed too how history – and the lucky number 13 – have played a part in his destiny to become the first citizen of Marlborough, whose first recorded Mayor, then called Bailiff, dates back to wealthy merchant John Godhyne in 1310.
“Today I have become the 518th Mayor since that time,” Councillor Loosmore told the distinguished audience of guests packed into the town hall for the traditional ceremony. (Click here to read the whole speech)
“My mayoral year is a mere blip in the last 703 years of former mayors in this historic town. Let us not forget the history of the area goes back thousands of years. Our beautiful countryside and prehistoric landscape is the longest inhabited area in England.
“I am truly honoured and humbled to be elected by my fellow councillors to become mayor for 2013 – 2014. I liken my year to the Olympic torch bearers of last year in that I am picking up the torch of history from the outgoing Mayor, Edwina Fogg (click here to read Edwina Fogg’s speech), and carrying forward, passing it on to the next mayor in a years’ time.”
He announced too his forthcoming wedding to his Mayoress and partner Fiona Lawson, who was not presented with her chain office due to a hiccup.
And he declared: “Let us celebrate what we have and build on it in a positive and harmonious way. Thank you to those who have helped so far and to those who will in the future, making special mention to Fiona, my Mayoress for all her patience so far and for her support in the forthcoming year.
“We are both very much looking forward to meeting more people in our community. Oh yes, fitting a few more things in, we are also getting married in my mayoral year. A first, from my understanding for a mayor in office.”
And he added: “To the year ahead, let’s have some fun and humour. To take a phrase used at the recent thanksgiving service for former Mayor, Lillian Ross, I ask the deputy Mayor (Councillor Marian Hannaford-Dobson) and fellow councillors to make this new council a ‘happy council’.
“Join with me, let’s take this town forward, I hope some of the things that can be achieved in my mayoral year will be a legacy for the future.”
A former Conservative turned independent, Councillor Loosmore, who has four sons by a previous marriage, came to Marlborough in 1987 following a career in the City and has been a town councillor for six years.
In his 25-minute mayoral speech he revealed his positive vision for 2020 building on Marlborough’s “rich treasure trove of diversity” in a vibrant market town of distinction and his desire to “embrace a wider spirit of community in our area.”
He talked of his Quaker school education, pointing out: “This has provided me with an inspirational set of values for living in this ever changing world. Quaker beliefs stand for, in broad terms, equality, peace, simplicity, truth and integrity.
“Focusing on equality, where everybody is equal, it is about respecting different people and different ideas, honouring all faiths, celebrating a rich community made up of many cultures, reflecting a broad inclusive spectrum of the global family.
“Picking up on community, a quote from a Friends Meeting House, I think quite apt: ‘Quakers strive for a unity that encompasses diversity. They value cooperation rather than competition, taking time to learn from others points of view, trying not to be confrontational.
“This is practised in collective decision making where the sense of the meeting is paramount.”
And addressing deputy Mayor Mrs Hannaford-Dobson, and fellow town councillors, old and new to this role, he added: “I ask that we adopt a positive approach in running this new council and embrace this philosophy to make things happen for the good of our community.
“Let the community see their council working together for the community in a more harmonious way. We will not always agree but in the spirit of equality I would like us to debate without recrimination or competition.”