A Thank You from The Felixstowe Flyer.
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Adrian and the team
Nick Barber Felixstowe Mayor
Welcome to my final column as Mayor, in what must be the most surreal of Mayoral years. It is certainly a year that no one will forget in a hurry, highly eventful, mostly enjoyable but also heart-breaking.
My time as Mayor once again has been one of the highlights of my life. For me, being Felixstowe born and bred, it is the highest accolade that one can achieve. Over the years, as I’ve listened to my kids talk about all the different places and countries they want to live. The thought of leaving my home town remains alien to me. I’m sure that as they get older (and hopefully wiser) they will realise just how lucky we are to be living here.
Even though the year has been cut short, I can look back over so many great events and activities. I very much enjoyed representing Felixstowe in Wesel and am looking forward to going back under my own steam when the situation allows. My personal highlight though was our hosting of Suffolk Day. It was a beautiful day and we did ourselves and the town proud.
I feel very lucky to have been supported by our Town Hall staff, in particular the Mayor’s Secretary, Lorna, who keeps all the Mayors in check! My thanks go to my fellow councilors and this year’s chosen charities, Felixstowe Carnival and FACTS. However, above all, I would like to thank all of you, our fantastic Felixstowe residents, who have been so appreciative, respectful, and kind during my year. I will have many memories from my second term as Mayor meeting so many friendly faces around the town.
It is a shame that I wasn’t able to raise as much money for my charities as we’d hoped, but with the circumstances requiring many major events, including the annual ball to be canceled, there is little we can do. With what we have all had to endure in recent weeks, there are bigger priorities right now.
As we all focus our efforts on doing what we can to curb the spread of this awful virus – and by now you know the drill: Stay at Home. Protect the NHS. Save Lives – we may feel that Suffolk has been comparatively successful in keeping transmission rates and deaths low. However, it will be some time before the impact and scale of Covid-19 can be fully understood. For those individual families dealing with the coronavirus right now, that impact is already here. For me, the reality hit quite early when I was very sorry to learn of the death John Hood, Felixstowe’s PCSO until 2018, from the coronavirus. John was a lovely guy and I send our sincere condolences to his family and friends at this unbearably sad time.
So, it is still incredibly important that we each follow government advice until we are through this. In the meantime, I would like to say a big thank you to all the local groups, charities and volunteers who have galvanised to help those who need it at this time. Felixstowe Helping Hands, The Basic Life, FACTS, our nurses, doctors and pharmacies, care homes, our shops and all the frontline workers who do such a fantastic job of keep us going.
I am incredibly proud to be part of a community which has done such a wonderful job maintaining social distancing and yet keeping an eye on neighbours to make sure we all come out of this stronger.
And when we do come out of it, soon I hope, we will be able to give all those people a big hug.
As a nation and town, I hope this will see us become an even more tolerant society. I am sure we will continue to show respect to everyone, look after our vulnerable residents and give our town the love and support it deserves.