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Mayor’s Message – November 2020

Do you remember days gone by when your diary was full of visits and engagements and it was sometimes a bit of a relief to get a day off?  It is a distant memory for me, although the busy-ness has been gradually building up as we find new ways to keep in touch and run events.  But it’s not the same!

I cannot tell you how much I am looking forward to meeting people in person again without the need to plan how to avoid getting near to them.  People need people, not telephones and computer screens.  The virus has robbed us of so much invaluable personal contact.  I do hope that when we emerge fully from the threat of COVID-19 we won’t be frightened to join with family, friends and colleagues.  Such fellowship is so vital for our mental health and well-being.  Roll on the post-COVID era!

As you will know, we had to commemorate Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day in new ways this year.  We made a variety of short films to put on social media, and Andy and I were at the War Memorial on both mornings to join with the impromptu gathering of people who needed a physical focus for their silent remembrance.  We have uploaded a montage of Remembrance photos to share on YouTube https://youtu.be/MVU6uZ4M_Lg

Sadly, we will not be having a Mayor’s Carol Service this year, but we hope that we will be able to celebrate Christmas throughout December by producing a “Mayor’s Advent Calendar” portraying and celebrating some of the interesting places around the borough – places which we can all hopefully freely visit next year as things get back to normal.  I have lived in Basingstoke for over 40 years, but I am learning about some fascinating places that have passed me by.  Our borough is rich in history.  Follow the @BasingstokeMayor Facebook commencing on Tuesday 1st December.

It seems that this year Christmas has become more important than ever; perhaps because this special time of year, which emphasises our love for our family and friends, has been under threat from the efforts to stem the coronavirus.  Out of so much tragedy, it is good to recognise a few positives from the past few months.  Being with people and showing care for them has never seemed so important as it does right now.  I do hope that continues when the virus has finally gone.

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