December Mayoral Musings
As expected, December was a very busy month. It all started off with the Edwardian Evening in the Town on the 5th December. An event not to be missed. For the first time, the event was run by "Everything Okehampton" and they did a fabulous job getting the lights and trees put up and arranging all the entertainment. We had a great time singing Carols outside St James' Chapel with our Silver Band playing their hearts out. This was swiftly followed by an invitation to attend a fabulous concert by the Exeter Youth Orchestra in Fairplace Church entitled "Christmas by Candlelight". The standard of playing was incredibly high and included young people from Okehampton - some of whom had started out playing with the Music Centre which is run by Community Links CIC in Okehampton.
A couple of evenings later I was at the Okehampton Excelsior Silver Band Christmas Concert in the Charter Hall which was great fun. On Monday 9th December I presented a couple of cheques. One to the Okehampton United Ecclesiastical Charity towards the maintenance of the clock at St James' Church and the second to the Okehampton Air Cadets which will be used to purchase essential IT equipment.
On Wednesday 11th December, I went along to the Okehampton United Charities Celebration Evening. As Mayor, I am a Trustee of the Charity and so had the privilege of presenting some certificates to the young people from Room 13 who had either achieved or were working towards their Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award. The following day, I popped into the Library to listen to children from Bridestowe and Exbourne Primary Schools singing carols as part of their Christmas Coffee Morning. It was lovely to share coffee and mince pies with some of those who volunteer at the Library and work so hard to provide this vital service to Okehampton and the wider community. On Friday 13th December, I was invited along to "A Night of Music" presented by the Friends of Okehampton Library. This was a lovely evening of entertainment which was very well supported.
On Sunday 15th December my first event of the day was to a Christmas Service being held by Inspiration Church. This service is run by the members of the church and they all turned up dressed as people from the Nativity. The Nativity Play itself had been written and was narrated by a couple of the young people and the church members were all very involved in the performance. In the evening I was invited to a Christmas Civic Service in Holsworthy. This was entitled "A Festival of Nine Lessons with Carols to Celebrate the Nativity of our Lord". Again, lots of young people took centre stage throughout.
On Tuesday 17th December I was invited to the Christmas Lunch of the Okehampton Friendly Circle which was a time of good food, good fun and good company. In the evening I went along to the Major Awards Evening held by Okehampton College in the Octagon Theatre. This event celebrated the successes of the many students from the College who had excelled in their field at either GCSE or A Level plus those who have faced considerable personal challenges and come through them.
My final event of the year was going along to the Okehampton Wellbeing Singers Christmas Concert. There was plenty of audience participation and great fun. The singers are very enthusiastic and all are welcome to go along to their weekly meetings on Fridays in the Ockment Centre. No previous singing experience necessary!
By the time you read this, we will be in early January. I should like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year and to thank each and every one for all that you do for the community of Okehampton.