Archive for November, 2012
Accompanied by our Deputy Lieutenant representing Her Majesty, the Borough Commander’s Commendation Ceremony at New Scotland Yard was a unique occasion for a Lambeth Mayor and as first citizen the invitation was an honour to receive on behalf of the local authority.
Whilst the long list of citations, were detailed and deserving of full attention to the courage and professionalism being commended; hearing first hand in the presence of the recipients as to the exacting nature of the work carried out, was a humbling experience.
These were acknowledgements delivered by senior police officers, commending to Chief Superintendent Matt Bell MBE acts of bravery and determination, leadership and professional dedication, not just by officers from the Metropolitan Police Service but police staff and members of the public, who on one occasion were able to successfully talk down a potential suicide and another who, despite pavement crowding, harassment and obstruction, disregarded his own personal safety and came to the assistance of a police officer who was then able to call for assistance and make an arrest.
Time and again the comment was made that having served as a police officer in the London Borough of Lambeth, it carries with it a bench mark of earned professionalism and when viewed on a CV is looked upon with respect for demanding police work conducted in a very challenging environment. It was a sobering thought, that these commendations were just the tip of the iceberg and therefore, members of the MET and members of the public, your commendations are fully deserving of our praise and we are very pleased to endorse the contributions that you have made and continue to make, in meeting the challenges we face as local communities south of the river.
St Martins in the Fields Scholarship Domino Tournament was not only an opportunity to support the charitable funding of a young A Level student in Jamaica and Ghana, but also to spend time in a welcoming environment for casual guests and experienced players, some with long memories and stories that could quickly wrinkle a smile into the full throttle of thigh slapping laughter.
The enthusiastic welcome from Dean Watson Head of Business studies was followed by a tour of the tables, meeting some of the players many of whom had grown up with dominoes in the Caribbean during the late forties and early nineteen fifties with those little numbered dots part of everyday life and community living.
Leaving family and friends was for some inevitable, with stories surrounding the three week voyage to England aboard ships that for many an anxious father were definitely off the agenda, and despite the additional cost; their daughters made the journey to Heathrow by air. Hardships are a continuity of circumstances, but especially so when lower down the social scale and whilst the early stories are entertaining to recount they are also a great leveller and tinged with an appreciation for circumstances that are unlikely to change. Yet with a little help some can make it against the odds.
My thanks to Mrs Morrison, the organisers, the attentive students and the players for their contribution to an evening of enlightened laughter and the sound of dominoes hitting the table in belief of the hand that they hold”
With their leader Terry Noel fronting this talented group of musicians, their twenty fifth anniversary concert on Saturday October 20th lived up to expectations and when next passing the underground at Brixton listen out for the unmistakeable sounds on steel that can move your body, loosen your legs and irresistibly quicken your step all the way to Oxford Circus.
Well, that’s my experience and if you were there in the capacity audience at Henry Cavendish Primary School the urge to sway along with the musicians was at times too tempting to refuse, because that’s what being with these BT Melodians will do for you and long may their music continue as a therapeutic tonic and their natural joy of performance shared by everyone.
Our borough has been home to the BT Melodians Steel Orchestra since 1987 with a generation of our young people growing up with the gift of their infectious musical expression as an indelible group belonging, and the generous sponsorship from British Telecom giving us that continuity of gratitude to be reflected in audience applause for many years to come.
What a year of sporting achievements it’s been and not least right here in the heart of Lambeth, where once again we played host to the London Boroughs Club Games at Brixton Recreation Centre. Riding high in our favour we can boast some first rate training and sports facilities on our doorstep, where as a local authority we were able to take centre stage in acknowledging the health and well being of those for whom maturity is just another beginning and their urge for club competitiveness just as sharp as ever.
For me and the teams, who were out of their coaches as if they were on route to the Olympic Stadium, the day started with a not to be missed warm-up. It was a sight to behold, with hundreds of well turned out men and women in tee shirts denoting their borough, being led through a routine of floor exercises ahead of their participating in any type of group or club game activity from badminton to dominoes from swimming to carpet bowls.
This event has the name of our borough written all over it and the successful working partnership with the operators obvious to all competitors and the many welcomed guests. It was a truly professional approach to fitness from the operators along with an ardent desire to keep it that way, through sponsoring a huge range of club games and sporting activities that are still sadly a very well kept secret; although not for the eighteen London Boroughs and 600 competitors of 55 plus who were all keen to be part of this unique occasion in Lambeth.