Archive for November 10th, 2014

Opening of TaxAssist Accountants – 4th November

November 10, 2014


TaxAssist is a franchise which enables small firms of accountants to offer ’big firm’ quality of service to small businesses.   I was delighted to open a branch in Purbrook which of course brings yet another new business and employment opportunity to the Borough.   We were welcomed by their staff and a few clients and had the opportunity to have a long talk to all.

TaxAssist 2

TaxAssist 3


Judging of Police Anti-Drink Drive Competition Artwork – 4th November

November 10, 2014

This was held at the Waterlooville Police Station. We sifted through many entries for this competition and had great difficulty in choosing a winner and two runners up. – I am keeping Mum until the announcement which will be on the 3rd December!

Festival of Annakut and Diwali Celebrations – 2nd November

November 10, 2014

Annakut 3

On Sunday 2nd November I was invited to attend the Diwali Celebrations organised by the BAPS Shree Swaminarayan Hindu temple, Havant. It was held at the Park Community School, Middle Park Way in Havant.   The Festival of Annakut is when a’ mountain of food’ is offered as a ceremonial offering of thanks for the past year.

It is a very colourful ceremony where all those taking part have made vegetarian food and brought it to the festival to be enjoyed by everyone. The quantity of food can be seen from the photo. The tables were creaking under the weight of it! An interesting point is that none of the food contains garlic, onions or eggs but the flavours were amazing. Thank you all for making me and my guest so welcome.

Annakut 1

Annakut 2

Rowan’s Hospice – Celebration of 20 Years – 2nd November

November 10, 2014

A beautiful service of hymns and readings was held at St Thomas’s Cathedral, Old Portsmouth to celebrate the wonderful work of the people who had the idea in the first instance of a hospice in our area and how they worked tirelessly for many many years to bring it to fruition and the superb work they do now for patients and families facing terminal illness.   It is incredible how many of the present staff have been there all the time and perhaps this is why it is so incredible.

My chaplain for this year is in fact Carol Gully, the Rowans Chaplain and the Rowans is, of course, one of my charities.

Hayling University of the Third Age Book Launch and Opening of the Exhibition’s Life and Times on Hayling Island 1914-1919 – 1st November

November 10, 2014

It is very appropriate that in this the year that marks the 100th anniversary of the First World War the U3A and many Hayling Islanders have worked immensely hard to bring together this exhibition and book launch; as a commemoration of those involved in the First World War and the sacrifice made by so many. The Life and Times of Hayling Island 1914 – 1919 was officially recognised and supported by the Heritage Lottery fund who contributed £9,600 through their “Then and Now programme”.

The project has recorded family stories passed on down through the generations and preserved information and photos in perpetuity so that future generations will understand the sacrifices made and the impact made on family life.   In addition the project has brought local people together and involved young local people.

Credit must be given to Janet Coats Jones whose original booklet gave details of the men recorded on the Memorial Plaques in St Mary’s Church and this served as a catalyst for the publication launched today.  Janet expanded on her original booklet, to include the role women and children played in keeping family life going and local industries productive, as well as work on numerous Island farms, the School of Musketry and the Local Volunteers Hospital as well as support given to the troops at the front by sending home comforts.

Thanks must also be given to the U3A, but in particular to Michael Burnham the Project Lead for his enthusiasm and encouragement that has driven the project tirelessly and enabled its success. Grateful thanks also to the Royal British Legion (Hayling branch) for all their assistance and help and for making their facilities available for this exhibition. I do hope the U3A manage to find a suitable permanent home for the artefacts that belong to them.

It gave me great pleasure, on behalf of the U3A, to present Janet,   Michael and Peter Everard with specially inscribed copies of the book. I was also lucky enough to be presented with one myself and I thank them for this.

Halloween Quiz Night – 31st October

November 10, 2014

Mayor's Quiz Night

A quiz night was organised and run by Councillor Jackie Branson and supported by many others, in aid of my chosen charities. Quiz Nights are always popular and an extremely pleasant/fun evening was had by all with 13 teams pitting their wits against each other. The winning team were from the Samaritans. My team just failed to come last by 2 points but we were only a small team!  Thank you to all those who worked so hard to bring this event together and all those who took part. The evening raised £987 for my charity appeal fund.

Visit to House of Commons – 29th October

November 10, 2014

David Willetts MP for Havant invited me to the House of Commons to hear Prime Minster’s Question Time on Wednesday 29th October.

I can’t begin to tell you how much we enjoyed our trip beginning with coffee with David followed by very special seats in the Speakers Private Gallery. I have been to the Houses of Parliament on several occasions but never to PMQ’s and it was extremely interesting to hear and see. I am only surprised that any of the MP’s can hear the questions asked due to the pandemonium within the House!!