Warwick Mayor reflects on a difficult but humbling year as he hands over the mayoral chains of office
Despite having an unprecedented year, Cllr Morris also set 'two firsts' during his time in office
The former Mayor of Warwick has reflected on his time in office as he hands over the chains to the next mayor.
Cllr Terry Morris, officially handed over the chains of office on Thursday (May 27) at a ceremony at St Mary's Church.
Cllr Richard Edgington was also elected the new mayor during the ceremony.
Despite having an unprecedented Cllr Morris also set 'two firsts' during his time in office.
He said: " I set two 'firsts' in my Mayoral term – the first Mayor of Warwick to have a Humanist Chaplain (Jane Sault) and the most Mayoral engagements in a single day when I visited 31 independent businesses in Warwick on April 12 to mark their re-opening after Covid-19 restrictions were relaxed."
Reflecting on his time as mayor, Cllr Morris said: "It has been an honour and a privilege to serve the residents of Warwick as the Mayor in what has been such a difficult year for many people.
"I became Mayor at a time when we had hoped that the worst of Covid-19 was behind us.
"Sadly, that turned out not to be the case and, with the support of my wife and Consort, Liz, I focussed on supporting local businesses as many of them struggled through a very tough year.
"Despite the situation we all found ourselves in, everyone has welcomed us with a smile and a demonstration of their passion for the wonderful town of Warwick.
"It really has been humbling to meet so many fantastic people.
"And, as I hand over the Chains of Office to our next Mayor of Warwick – Councillor Richard Edgington – I would like to wish him every success.
"I know that he will be a superb representative of, and ambassador for the Town of Warwick.
"Thank you to all residents of, and visitors to, Warwick who have supported me throughout my Mayoral term."
As one of his last acts as mayor Cllr Morris also reported on the mayor's charities, which for his year was the Myton Hospices and Top of the Rock.
Speaking about Myton Hospices during the mayor-making ceremony, Cllr Morris said: "One of the many events cancelled due to the pandemic was the Tree of Lights dedication service in December.
"However, Liz Healey and the team in the visitor information centre did a fantastic job of selling the dedication cards that go on the Christmas Tree in the Market Square, selling over 260 cards.
"Usually, the funds raised are split 50/50 between the Mayor’s Charity and The Myton Hospice, via Warwick Rotary.
"However, we decided to donate all of the funds to The Myton Hospice and I was delighted to go the Myton Hospice earlier this month, along with David Brain, the President of Warwick Rotary and present a cheque for £2,000."
Speaking about Top of the Rock, he said: "Liz and I are committed to raising awareness of, and supporting, the mental health needs of residents of Warwick.
"We’re also very aware of the positive impact that music can have on people’s mental well-being which, in turn, makes for better physical well-being.
"I was humbled when I met a great young man who shared with me how music had turned his life around. And, how he wanted to use music to help others.
"This inspired Liz and I to kick-start a music academy project that will enable young people who might not be able to afford professional tuition to have access to music lessons.
"I’m delighted to announce that the remaining £910 of funds raised will be ring-fenced to enable Kris Farrell and his team at the Top of the Rock Drum School to give free lessons to a number of young people in Warwick."
As well as giving funding to the charities, Cllr Morris also gave out the mayor's golden bear awards, which are given out to recognise those who delivered outstanding service to the town.
This year's recipients were; John and Carol Walker of CJ’s Events Warwickshire, for their work serving the community with the weekly market, John Wilcock, an 89-year-old resident who is currently taking on a rollerskating fundraising challenge and Trevor Langley for the hard work he has put into community events for residents of around the Woodloes.