For my penultimate column may I begin with praise for the Rotary Club of Knaresborough in achieving the Maundy Stone installation at Knaresborough Castle performed by the Lord Lieutenant.
The project has been a long process instigated by Rotarian John Tapscott and more recently by David Kaye.
Take a bow all concerned.
I have spent a great deal of time in the company of Rotarians during my tenure, they are a fine example of volunteering along with the many clubs and organisations in the Borough.
Celebrating the work of such selfless volunteers saw me at the H&RCVS Awards recently.
There is no doubt that our society cannot manage without them and we would be the poorer if we did not have such willing helpers, they are the special ones, giving of their time and being generous of spirit.
There are many joyous moments during a Mayor’s term in office, one such occasion was the WW1 Concert held at the Harrogate Convention Centre when several schools took part in acknowledging the sacrifice made by so many.
Our young talent was also evident at the Harrogate International Youth Festival at the Royal Hall, all choreographed and produced by the young musicians themselves.
And speaking of talent and skill, those magnificent men in their flying machines made a terrific fly past at RAF Linton-on-Ouse as we acknowledged RAF 100 and helped to raise funds for Hearing Dogs for Deaf People.
As many of you are aware I am passionate about supporting Henshaws Society for Blind People and I look forward to my forthcoming fundraising event to be held at Barclays Bank thanks to the generosity and support of senior manager Martin Gerrard and his colleagues.
I was delighted to see Martin receive the Business Personality of the Year award at the recent Ackrill Business event.
This premier event was hosted at the Royal Hall and saw business endeavour of the highest level reap its reward.
The Lord Lieutenant received a Lifetime Achievement Award and in his thank you speech he encouraged local businesses to consider putting a little back into society, as the rewards from doing so are immeasurable.
This concept has been in my own DNA since I can remember.
One of our local businesses showing support for many charitable causes is CNG and I was delighted to attend the Mad Hatter Tea Party prior to the workforce sleeping out in support of SASH and the issue of homelessness, which is a justifiable cause for concern.
As is care of the elderly.
It was National Care Homes Open Day and I visited several, being greeted by the smiling faces of residents.
It was evident that we are blessed to live in an area with good provision albeit the increase in need of good quality care is on the rise due to an increase in our ageing population.
And staying with senior citizens I had the pleasure of meeting the old boys and girls of St. George’s House Orphanage, which was created in 1898 and cared for over 600 children until 1956.
The children had lost a parent whilst in the service of the Police.
I heard stories of how young they were when they arrived, how they had been well cared for and educated before finding their own way in the World.
The dinner was their final reunion, they were inspirational and I shall always remember meeting them.