‘The proudest moment of my political career’

Alderman Gareth Wilson with his wife Allison and their sons Lewis and Micah.
Alderman Gareth Wilson with his wife Allison and their sons Lewis and Micah.

As his time as Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon draws to a close, Alderman Gareth Wilson has been looking back at some of the highlights of what has been “a highly successful and enjoyable tenure.”

The DUP man, who took up the Chain of Office in June 2017, described his time as First Citizen as “a great privilege and the proudest moment of my political career.”

Recalling highlights such as representing the council at the ‘Go West’ export trade mission to Chicago, welcoming visitors from across the globe to the borough and cutting the first sod on a number of new sports facility projects, Alderman Wilson said: “The unforgettable journey has been more than I imagined it could be and one I will never forget.

“It was especially enjoyable to be able to share the experience with my wife Allison and our two sons Lewis and Micah, who were able to accompany me at many wonderful events, creating many great memories.

“At the beginning of my term as Lord Mayor I pledged to work for all our citizens and do all that I could to maximise opportunities to see the borough develop socially and economically and it has been so special to see those aspirations realised.

“It was important for me to recognise our community and voluntary sectors, promote faith in the public square and pay tribute to those in our borough who make it a great place to live, do business and raise families.

“I am proud to have been able to host many superb voluntary and charity organisations for the tireless work they do to help and improve the lives of so many from all walks of life.

“It was my honour to choose Air Ambulance NI as the official charity for my term in office and thanks to the unbelievable generosity of the public we have managed to raise £15,000 for this extremely important service.”

Alderman Wilson thanked the Deputy Lord Mayor, Councillor Sam Nicholson, for his “hard work and support” over the past 12 months and wished his successor all the best for leading the council during 2018/19.

Concluding, he said: “Most of all I would like to thank the people of the borough for making my year as Lord Mayor such an unforgettable and positive experience.

“The borough has a such a rich and diverse tapestry of community life and community spirit and the sense of belonging our citizens radiate has always shone through, no matter what the event or occasion. It is this exceptional quality that undoubtedly makes Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough the special and welcoming place it is.”