Christmas message from Craigavon Mayor

The Mayor of Craigavon, Carla Lockhart. INLM5112-256
The Mayor of Craigavon, Carla Lockhart. INLM5112-256

A CHRISTMAS message from the Mayor of Craigavon, Councillor Carla Lockhart.

“It’s hard to believe it’s that time already to say Happy Christmas to one and all! The past six months as Mayor has been a wonderful experience for me. I have been overwhelmed by the warm welcome I have received from residents across the Borough and have had the pleasure of meeting so many inspiring and interesting people, groups and organisations who play a vital role in communities throughout Craigavon.

Christmas is a very special time for us all, a time to spend with family and friends, reflect on a busy year passed and plan for 2013 - the New Year ahead. As I reflect back I think of the fantastic opportunities I have had as Mayor of this premier Borough - a tour around Lurgan Park in a Subaru Impreza at Lurgan Park Rally and Portadown on a three wheeled motor bike at Country Comes to Town to name but a few highlights.

I have hosted several Executive Ministers including the First Minister The Rt Hon Peter Robinson MLA on two occasions and I am using every opportunity to highlight the great Borough we have to the “folks on the hill”.

I have hosted a Farm Safety event for local farming families, an RIR Band, Pipes and Drums concert, I have been bag packing at ASDA and have managed to raise in the region of £5k for my chosen charity Tiny Life with a plethora of fundraising activities. I have recognised in the form of a “Mayors Award” some of our citizens who for many years have been involved in community and voluntary work throughout the Borough.

I have also had very serious elements to deal with when tragedy has hit and the homes have been stripped of a loved one. My thoughts are with those people at this difficult time.

However, as I look forward to 2013 I look with excitement towards many more events before the end of my term in office for instance hosting the famous New Irish Choir on 9th February 2013 in the Civic Centre, a Teenage Health and Well Being Day and a Dragon Boat Race.

However, as we turn our thoughts to Christmas it is the one time of year when old and young alike delight in the old, treasured traditions such as singing Christmas carols, attending nativity plays and Christmas Services over the holiday period and of course decorating our homes with beautiful festive decorations.

It can be a very happy time but it can also be difficult for people who have suffered bereavement. It can be a time of great poignancy. Remembering loved ones who are no longer with us. Remembering friends and families who are spending Christmas in other countries and particularly our Armed Forces who are serving Queen and Country.

So, as we celebrate this holiday season, may I ask you all to remember those people in your thoughts and pray for them. Take time to reflect and count your blessings and look after your neighbours, especially the elderly and those who live alone.

I hope that this Christmas will be a happy and peaceful occasion for everyone in the Borough. I would encourage you all to share God’s love and peace, and give thanks for the blessings that He has granted each of us. Most importantly take time to remember the real meaning of Christmas and the fact that God sent his Son as a baby to be the Saviour of the world.

I wish you all a healthy, happy Christmas and prosperous New Year full of peace, opportunity and hope.

See you in 2013!”