A new Margate mayor, mayoress and deputy mayor were elected at the Margate Charter Trustees annual meeting last night (May 16) – and a special announcement was made.
Cllr Heather Keen was elected Mayor, Caroline Friday as Mayoress, and Cllr Rob Yates as Deputy Mayor. The meeting was attended by residents and representatives of groups and businesses across Margate.
Thanks were given to outgoing Mayor Mick Tomlinson and Lady Mayoress Shirley Tomlinson, who shared the news that Tracey Emin will be made a Freeman of Margate later in the year, in recognition of all she has done for the town.
Mayor Heather Keen set out her vision for her term, which is to be firmly based in the community, covering all the seven wards of Margate. As well as being an ambassador for Margate at various events she will hold fundraising activities so that the Mayor’s Fund can continue to give grants to local charities and groups and asked that people support these events, knowing that money raised goes straight back to the community.
On the news of the Freeman status for Tracey Emin Cllr Tomlinson said: “I have had the great privilege of honouring Tracey Emin with a Freeman of Margate award. It was something that came up in conversation with my wife in the winter months and I’m glad to say everyone agreed.
“She has invested in Margate, putting a lot of money into our town and we should be proud of that.
“It was an announcement at my finale (Cllr Tomlinson says he will not return to the role of mayor in the future) and I was not aware at the time but Tracey was in the audience.”
A date is now being arranged to hold a formal ceremony to bestow the honour on the artist with the venue likely to be Tracey’s gallery at the former Thanet Press building.
Tracey has bought the former Victorian baths and former morgue in Dane Road/Victoria Road, Margate, with plans to create artists’ studios, an Emin museum and hopes for a sculpture park, artist residencies and a life drawing club. There are also understood to be separate plans for a training school, possibly in the catering/hospitality trade. The 58-year-old artist has also bought The Brown Jug pub in Broadstairs.
The artist also previously pledged £100,000 towards a proposed skate park in Cliftonville and has donated artworks for fundraisers, including for The Margate School.
An exhibition by Tracey is currently on show at the town’s Carl Freedman Gallery.
A Journey To Death features new prints, large-scale monotypes and bronze sculptures and is on show until June 19.
Entry is free. The Gallery in Union Crescent is open Wednesdays – Sundays from 12-6pm
Please see visiting information for Carl Freedman Gallery before you visit.