A multi-faith service at the Salvation Army hall in Ramsgate has marked the official acceptance of office by town mayor Raushan Ara.
Members of the community, local organisations, mayors, councillors and South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay gathered for the service yesterday (July 4).
Readings and prayers came from Carl Whitewood, of the Salvation Army, Nasir Huzure, of the Al-Birr Community Centre and Mosque, Father John Chater of St George’s Church and Rabbi Cliff Cohen of Thanet & District Reform Synagogue.
A reading was also given by Cllr Ara’s son Raivi who spoke of compassion in all religions and walks of life.
Cllr Ara, whose chosen mayor’s charities are East Kent Mencap, Thanet Winter Shelter, Ramsgate RNLI and Street Trees for Ramsgate, spoke of her pride of the town’s numerous volunteers.
She said: “Volunteering is not a one way street, we do get something out of it. We do it because we enjoy it, we love our community and we love our town.
“Volunteers in Ramsgate are incredible, without (them) our town would not be as beautiful as it is today.”
The service not only marked the start of office for Cllr Ara but celebrated many of the groups and individuals who give their time to the town.
Certificates of appreciation were awarded, a gift was presented to former mayor Trevor Shonk and flowers given to Cllr Pat Moore and town council staff.
Town Sergeant Mac Wilkinson was also presented with a certificate of appreciation.
There were collection buckets at the event in aid of Thanet Winter Shelter and in excess of £600 was raised.
The mayor will be holding a croquet and cream tea fundraiser on July 25 at Ramsgate Croquet Club, Royal Esplanade, from 2pm to 4pm.
The event will raise funds for the mayor’s chosen charities. Tickets are £15 per person and are available from Ramsgate Town Council at the Custom House or from the Ramsgate Tandoori in Harbour Street.
Ramsgate Litter Pickers
Spencer Square Residents Association
Friends of Ellington Park
Westcliff Conservation and Community Association
Miss Ramsgate Association
Ramsgate Carnival Association
Ramsgate Montefiore Heritage
Western Undercliff Association
Nelson Crescent Residents Association
PC John Litchfield
Arts in Ramsgate
Ramsgate Costumed Walkers
Ramsgate International Film and TV Festival
Sharon Goodyer – the Summer Kitchen