High Sheriffs Awards
1st June 2017
The Duchy of Lancaster - Royal Garden Party Luncheon -
The Bentley Room, Mosimann's
Today Gerry and Joanne visited London to attend the Royal Garden Party.
Before travelling to Buckingham Palace, they were delighted to be invited to
lunch at Mosimann's by the Duchy of Lancaster along with the High Sheriffs of
Lancashire and Merseyside and their spouses - Robert & Carole Webb and Stephen &
It was a wonderful lunch, expertly organised and it was a
real treat to dine at one of London's most famous eateries.
In addition, they learned such a lot about the Duchy of Lancaster and its
On one of the tables was displayed replicas of some of
the royal seals of various Kings and Queens. On the death of the monarch, the
seal is smashed with a hammer, which was also on view.
and Joanne also saw the actual bodkin which is used by the Queen at the Pricking
of the Lites ceremony, when the High Sheriff of Greater Manchester is chosen.
Tim Crow, the Solicitor for the Affairs of the Duchy of Lancaster told them that
on 8th March 2017 when he presented the lites (a list of nominees on a piece of
parchment) to the Queen for pricking it was mid to late morning and the Queen
had already carried out three hours of royal duties!
We take our hat off
to Her Majesty!
then walked everyone through the classic streets of Belgravia and across to
The Royal Garden Party - Lord Lieutenant's Day.
Before entering the grounds of Buckingham Palace, a thorough ID check was
carried out by a Police Constable and the High Sheriff of Merseyside discovered
that he and the PC had attended the same school in Glasgow - although it was
many years apart!
The Duchy of Lancaster's party were allowed to enter
and walked through to a beautiful extensive lawn at the rear of Buckingham
Palace, along one side of which was a long white marquee where beverages, cakes,
scones and all kinds of goodies could be enjoyed. On such a warm and sunny
afternoon there was a long queue of ice cream!
On the left hand side and
backing on to the lake, was the Royal Tea Tent, reserved for members of the
The warm air was filled with the glorious sound of a band playing.
4pm the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, looking elegant and happy, appeared on
the rear terrace. A clear way had been designated for them, with people lining
the route 10-20 deep watching them coming down the steps. They walked to the
Royal Tea Tent, shaking hands and talking to everyone that they passed.
of the Yeomen of the Guard took place whilst they were in the Royal Tea Tent and
they then escorted the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh back to Buckingham
There were thousands of people at the Garden Party. During the
afternoon Gerry and Joanne met many friends: amongst whom were other High
Sheriffs, the Dean of Manchester who was there with his wife and daughter,
Gerry's Chaplain the Reverend Angie Stanton and Sian Yowell, the Bishop of
Gloucester, Rachel Treweek and Timothy Duke, the Norroy & Ulster King of Arms.
They also saw politicians, including Philip Hammond and Graham Brady, MP for
Altrincham and Sale West and Chair of the 1922 Committee.
It was a
wonderfully colourful, glamorous and very British afternoon - with morning
suits, beautiful dresses, hats, fascinators and lots of robes. There were many
clergy in red robes who Gerry and Joanne discovered were the clergy of the Royal
Family. The atmosphere was relaxed with a definite touch of class!
Joanne had a wonderful day.
4th June 2017
Citizens in Policing Awards 2017
The Citizens in Policing Awards is an annual event which celebrates the huge
contribution made by Special Constables (SC), Police Support Volunteers (PSV),
Volunteer Police Cadets (VPC) & Leaders and Citizens in Policing (CIP) to
Greater Manchester Communities.
Gerry and Joanne arrived at the Hilton
Hotel, Manchester Airport where they were met by a very smart young lady cadet
and escorted to the JFK Suite where the GMP Quartet were playing and
refreshments were available.
They spoke to a variety of interesting people, including Tina Shelton, the
organiser of the event, who is herself a CIP Coordinator and won a CIP Support
Award on the day and Tracey Snelling, who is a PSV and won the PSV Individual
They were also delighted to catch up with Mike Walmsley, the Chief
Officer of the Greater Manchester Police Special constabulary.
Gerry spotted a group of people in red coats and discovered that they were
The Glossop Mountain Rescue Team. One of their members, Ian Bennett promised to
take Gerry out with them for a day, although he joked that he would have to
stick to the left hand side of any paths so as not to encroach into the
bailiwick of the High Sheriff of Derbyshire!
The guests were then seated in the Schiphol Suite ready for the Awards
There were 11 awards in total and Gerry presented certificates and
had photographs taken with the winners and runners up of the VPC Individual
Award and the SC Individual Award.
The winner of the VPC Individual Award
was Hassan Khan, Head Cadet at Blackley VPC. He has played a key role in
tackling hate crime, cyber bullying and antisocial behaviour in the community.
He has also worked to break down barriers between the inner city community where
he lives and the Police. He has also worked hard to complete his Bronze and
Silver Duke of Edinburgh Awards and is close to achieving his Gold.
Runner Up was Hannah Young, who was sword bearer to Gerry's predecessor as High
Sheriff, Lady Smith of Leigh. In that role she also took part in Gerry's
Installation Ceremony in April. She was key to designing the new VPC and Sword
Bearer Cadet Ceremonial uniform. As Senior VPC she has taken the lead at Cadet
Meetings, been instrumental at fundraising for local charities and encourages
other young people to join the cadets.
The winner of the SC Individual
Award was Jared Simpson, who has been instrumental in two key areas of Policing
in Oldham. After being made aware of antisocial behaviour and underage drinking
in Royton precinct he visited all licensed premises in the vicinity and
encouraged them to join Pub Watch. He attended the meetings and continues to
patrol the area. In 2016 he was first on the scene when a child was hit by a
motor vehicle and showed leadership and integrity in the critical incident which
The Runner Up was Vikki Barnes, who has worked tirelessly to
improve the overall standard and professionalism of the Special Constabulary at
Wigan Division. She has also forged excellent links with the regular supervisors
and officers on the Division too. In 12 months she has volunteered more than
1600 hours to policing.
The Awards were followed by a delicious lunch.
Gerry and Joanne were sat at a table with volunteers, Gemma Vaughan, who has
just started as a regular Policewoman, James Briggs, who is due to start soon
and Vikki Barnes who has wanted to join the Police all her life, became an SC
and decided that becoming a regular Policewoman was not for her. Her day job is
now an Air Hostess, though she remains as an SC.
It was a heart-warming
and uplifting event and the atmosphere of the day was summed up by a quotation
from Special Sergeant, Tracy Higginson:
"I am a great believer in 'you
get out of it what you put in' - I enjoy getting involved in the many aspects of
Greater Manchester is blessed by dedicated and incredible
Citizens in Policing.
One Love Manchester Concert
During the Citizens in Policing Awards, Gerry and Joanne were honoured to be
asked to join dignitaries of Greater Manchester for a One Minute's Silence at
6:45pm before the start of the One Love Manchester Concert.
dignitaries gathered at the Bishop of Manchester's residence and were taken by
Police escort to Emirates Old Trafford Cricket Ground. Many roads around the
Ground were closed in order to heighten security.
The Police moved
barriers to allow the cars to pass through. Talbot Road was full of people
walking to the concert.
The dignitaries were taken back stage. The
stadium was 70% full and people were still streaming in.
was full of anticipation and emotion.
The crowd responded positively and
enthusiastically to speeches made by Andy Burnham, the Mayor of Greater
Manchester and David Walker, the Bishop of Manchester.
moving words summed up the feelings of many people: 'I don't know what to
say under the circumstances, but the fact that you are all here today speaks
more than a thousand words.'
Ariana Grande brought together an
incredible array of talent, including Justin Bieber, The Black Eyed Peas,
Coldplay, Robbie Williams, Take That, Miley Cyrus, Marcus Mumford, Niall Horan,
Little Mix, Katy Perry, Imogen Heap, Pharrel Williams and Liam Gallagher.
music spoke loudly and passionately -and performers and a crowd of some 50,000
people came together as one to share a very emotional evening.
joined by 11.63 million people who watched on TV and over £2M was raised for the
families of the victims of the Manchester attacks.
The British Red Cross
reported it received more than £10 million in donations in the 12 hours
following the concert.
Again the emergency services rose to the occasion and
kept everyone safe. Police and people celebrated Manchester .....in fact, Mike
Walmsley, Chief Officer of the Greater Manchester Police Special Constabulary
was seen enthusiastically joining in a conga with concert goers!
6th June 2017
Visit to Withington Girls' School
Joanne spent a very enjoyable afternoon, meeting 10-11 year old girls from
Withington Girls' School, who enthusiastically asked him about his role as High
Sheriff so far.
They arrived at school to be welcomed by Headmistress,
Sarah Haslam and were taken for a tour of the new Junior building and then to
the Junior Hall to meet the girls.
Gerry explained that their daughter,
So Yi , was an Old Girl of the school and had been in Upper 2 in 1998. He showed
them a picture of her in uniform (which has not changed since then) at the same
age and also a photo of her as she looks now.
He also explained that he
was a past Governor of the school and worked hard to raise £2M for the Bursary
Fund. In fact his name can still be found on one of the bricks making up the
'bursary wall' of donations.
They were fascinated by the history of the
role of High Sheriff and its origins in Anglo Saxon times, as well as by the
fact that the High Sheriff is mentioned in no less that 27 of the 63 clauses in
the Magna Carta. They were also impressed when Gerry proved that he had done his
homework and found out more about the history of those periods!
also told them about the High Sheriff's uniform and how he travelled to London
to be measured up and to have it made. They enjoyed looking at the uniform,
wearing his hat and examining his sword.
A highlight of the afternoon was
the saga of the lost sword on his recent trip back to London!
explained how his family crest was created and was told that the girls were
going to do a project in school to create their own family crests. Gerry and
Joanne promised to return to see the finished articles.
The girls were
bright and enthusiastic, asking pertinent questions and whole heartedly joining
in the session.
The afternoon ended with afternoon tea in the
A great time was had by all!
High Sheriff's Dinner at the Inner Temple, London
and Joanne were invited by Mr David Pittaway, the Treasurer of the Honourable
Society of the Inner Temple to a High Sheriff's Dinner.
The evening began
with an enchanting Choral Evensong service in the beautiful Temple Church.
The Temple Church was built in the late 12th Century by the Knights Templar
as their English headquarters. It is the church of Inner and Middle Temple, two
of England’s four ancient societies of lawyers, the Inns of Court; we are here
to serve the two Inns’ members and staff'
the service, they learned that the Magna Carta was actually drafter at the
Temple. It was King John’s London headquarters (1214-5) and from there he issued
two vital preliminary charters. In January 1215 the barons confronted him for
the first time at the Temple with the demand that he subject himself to the rule
of a charter.
The hero of Magna Carta was William Marshal, Earl of
Pembroke. He mediated between John and the barons, secured the agreement
embodied in Magna Carta and was one of the King’s advisors at Runnymede. When
John died the Marshal became guardian of the boy-king Henry III and of the
kingdom. He re-issued Magna Carta under his own seal in 1216 and 1217, and so
ensured its survival. He was buried in the Temple’s Round Church, where his
effigy still lies.
The role of High Sheriff' is the only other office
that is older than the Temple itself and is mentioned in 27 of the 63 clauses in
the Magna Carta.
The High Sheriff's then moved into the beautiful Inner
Temple Hall, where they enjoyed interesting and informative speeches, gourmet
food, deliciously matched wines and delightful company.
and Joanne were seated next to and opposite two of the Masters of the Temple;
teachers who guide the young pupils in law. They also enjoyed conversation with
many other High Sheriffs and exchanged ideas and information.
the experience very much.
8th June 2017
The Signing of the
Roll & The Portrait Hanging of the High Sheriff of Greater Manchester
Gerry & Joanne began the day at the Judges' Lodgings in Manchester where
they were kindly invited to morning tea/coffee by the resident Judges and were
joined by the Under Sheriff, Mr David Cam Dl and his wife, Jin Ee.
discussed, amongst many other things, the possibility of a campaign to recruit
more Chinese JPs.
The formal ceremony took place in the Assize Hall at Crown Square, to which
Gerry & Joanne travelled in convoy with the Judges.
Previous to their
arrival was that of the Vice Lord Lieutenant, Mrs Edith Conn and the Lord Mayor
of Manchester, Councillor Eddy Newman.
As the dignitaries arrived they
were accompanied by mounted Police and announced by fanfares from the Police
Trumpeters. It was a formal and inspiring occasion. As they entered the Assize
Hall they were received by the Hon Recorder of Manchester, His Honour Judge
David Stockdale QC.
The short but moving and traditional ceremony was
attended by many of the Mayors of Greater Manchester, the Judiciary, past High
Sheriff's and friends and family of the present High Sheriff.
As the High
Sheriff and Mrs Yeung arrived, they were met by the High Sheriff's Chaplain, Rev
Angie Stanton and his Police Cadets, Shannon Donnelly and Natasha Watkins and
escorted into the Assize Hall.
The Police Cadets guarded the High
Sheriff's Portrait throughout the ceremony, whilst he signed the beautifully
calligraphed Roll. The portrait will eventually join those of all the previous
High Sheriffs along one of the corridors in Crown Square.
Towards the end
of the ceremony, the High Sheriff was blessed in his role by his Chaplain, who
amongst her beautiful words prayed that God would:
Bless Gerry as he
supports our civic life that he might be a power for good in our city
symbol of its inclusivity and welcome, an advocate for those who stand with the
marginalised and a support for those who uphold the rule of Law and serve the
common good with their lives.
Fill him with Your Joy, Confidence and Wisdom,
bless him at home and at work, awake and asleep, be on his right hand and on his
left hand, a constant source of encouragement and peace.
and uplifted, the guests retired to the Judges' Dining Room for tea and coffee.
The High Sheriff and Joanne then kindly hosted early lunch for their friends
and family at San Carlo. Unfortunately they could not be joined by the Judges as
they were called back to Court.
9th June 2017
Visit to Bolton
Lads & Girls' Club to meet Staff & Pupils of Rumworth School, Bolton
Gerry & Joanne visited Bolton Lads & Girls' Club where Rumworth School hold
their PE lessons.
They were met by Alison Moreton and two Rumworth
pupils, who showed them around the club.
They then went outside to watch Louis Critchlow from Bolton RUFC and Kadoo
who was coaching Rugby skills . He has been working with Rumworth all year and
they are thoroughly enjoying learning new skills
Gerry talked to the
girls and boys and watched Louis take them through a Gladiator Drill where they
needed to beat two defenders without losing both tags to score a try.
After going back indoors, they watched the cricket practice and were then
treated to a great cup of tea and some lovely cakes!
They were joined by
the Deputy Headmistress who told Gerry that She remembered him from visiting his
restaurant, Yang Sing, when she was younger and that she shared many a delicious
lunch with her Dad when she was doing Teacher Training!
Gerry's hat was
passed among the children and tried on many times!
The sword was also
very popular and one of the boys asked whether Gerry used it to defend the
Queen! Lots of questions were asked about the uniform and the sort of things
that High Sheriff's are expected to do. Gerry and Joanne also enjoyed asking
questions about the school, sport and BRUFC's involvement with the school.
Rumworth is a school for 11-19 year old pupils who have a range of learning
difficulties and additional needs. It is rated 'Outstanding' by Ofsted They
cater for up to 240 students and support them to be more confident, resilient
and independent. Their aim is to teach life skills so that the students can gain
employment. One of their mottos is: You can do it. We can help.
The school is doing a fantastic job. and sport is almost a therapy. The students
were relaxed and happy and many of them excel at sport and were in their
Bolton RUFC do incredible work with schools , using rugby as a means to
connect with youngsters and teach valuable life skills and lessons. They work
hard to help young people in their community to develop and grow as individuals
whilst connecting with and enjoying sport. In 2015 they won the SRA School Links
Award which was presented by HRH Earl of Wessex.
Fantastic community work
Meanwhile, the cricket and rounders continued inside and Gerry
had a go at batting. He is proud to say that he remains 'not out'!
Some final group photos were taken and there were lots of goodbyes
Gerry and Joanne were invited to lunch at Rumworth, as they have a bistro
standard kitchen. In return Gerry and Joanne
invited some of the pupils to
come over to Yang Sing Cathay and Wokooshii to learn how to make some dim sum
and enjoy some Chinese food.
Watch this space!
The Opening of the Sale Festival Photographic Exhibition & Prize Giving
Gerry and Joanne arrived at the Waterside Arts Centre to take part in the
opening of the Sale Festival Photographic Exhibition.
A few days earlier,
Gerry had been over to meet John Earnshaw and his colleagues to see, study and
judge the prints and decide on the top three prize winners in the Senior Section
(as well as another three who would receive Commended Certificates) and the 16
prints he judged to be the 'best of the rest'. All of these prints had then been
framed for the exhibition.
He then chose the First and Second Prize
Winners in the Junior Section.
He had a great time studying all the
prints and as overwhelmed by the quality of the entrants.
On the night it
was his job to try to explain why he made his choices and support the Mayor of
Trafford who presented the prizes.
Whilst he is not a photographer, he
explained that he felt a good photo should tell a story and give rise to an
emotional response - happiness, sadness, laughter, horror. It could depict a
sense of grandeur or tranquillity in nature etc There are also the technical
skills of composition, colour, exposure etc.
The winners were:-
Junior Section - Runner Up
Another Rainy Day in
Ireland by Rosie Sharkey
Gerry loved its bold composition with a sense
of desolation and melancholy of a wet sodden day when the rain seems as though
it will never stop. You can almost sense that this is the view of a child who is
bored and frustrated
Junior Section Winner
Shoestring by Georgia Scheerhout
The photo has a Mediterranean feel and
the observation of the photographer has captured everyday ordinary objects in a
way that is fun and mischievous. The angle from which the photo is taken invites
you to look up and explore a shabby alley and discover colour.
Commended in the Senior Section were:
Paddle Board Sunset by Jane Hawnaur, Lull at Lakeside by John Nugent and
Flower Girl by Chrissie Hayward
The Third Prize
Winner in the Senior Section was
Egyptian Excursion by John Nugent
Gerry loved the simplicity,
the mathematical geometrical composition and the interesting perspective of a
pyramid that is in the distance and one that is 'in your face'. The heat of the
desert is also captured in the glow of light on the rocks.
Second Prize Winner in the Senior Section was
As soon as Gerry saw this photo he smiled! Then a word popped
into his head - cantankerous....followed by bad tempered, irascible, irritable
and grumpy! The photo completely captured the spirit of a grumpy old man and
expressed the feeling - 'Don't come near me! Don't mither me! Leave me alone! Go
The First Prize Winner of the Senior Section was:
Clara in the Corn by Chrissie Hayward
This is a beautiful and
subtle photograph of a young girl half-hidden in a cornfield, her blonde hair
and the ripening corn being a perfect blend of colour. The young girl is very
thoughtful, absorbed by something which we cannot see. Only half of her face can
be seen and her eyes are half closed. You wonder what she is thinking. There is
an element of mystery involved. It is compelling, intense, has depth and leaves
you wanting more....
Gerry and Joanne had a lovely evening, speaking to
the photographers and learning more about their very impressive skills. They
also met the two beautiful daughters of Chrissie Hayward who were the subjects
of Clara in the Corn and Flower Girl.
12th June 2017
Meeting Young Chinese Lawyers at Dean's Court
Every year a group of young Chinese lawyers visit UK, spending six weeks in
London and one day in Manchester!
Gerry, as High Sheriff of Greater
Manchester, was asked by the Honorary Recorder of Manchester, HH Judge David
Stockdale QC, to meet with them during their visit and talk to them about life
They were bright young lawyers from a variety of cities
in China and specialised in many different areas of law.
enlisted the help of Rhys Whalley, the CEO of Manchester China Forum to
accompany him and was also grateful to Tim Newns of MIDAS who provided useful
data and information to add to the presentation. They had a very brief window of
opportunity to extol the virtues of Manchester.
He also decided to wear
his full uniform (complete with sword!) so that the lawyers could also enjoy the
tradition of his role.
Gerry and Rhys were welcomed most warmly to Dean's
Court Chambers by David Stockdale and Joe Hart and were introduced to the
group., who had, earlier that day, enjoyed visits to Old Trafford, Manchester
Crown Court, had a pub lunch and been to the People's Museum.
them a bit about himself, his role and the history of the High Sheriff.
The lawyers were delighted when Rhys introduced himself in Mandarin and then
explained in English the work of Manchester China Forum with China, relating to
connectivity, investment etc.
had the last word when he explained that Manchester is big enough to be
commercially and culturally exciting, but small enough for everyone to work
together.......and that as long as they got to know a few of the people
currently in the room, through them they would soon get to know everyone in
Everyone then got to know each other much better over tea and
a selection of very delicious cakes!
15th June 2017
180th Anniversary Awards
Henshaws is a charity supporting people
living with sight loss and a range of other disabilities. The charity provides
specialist college facilities, arts and crafts, community services, housing,
training and services for businesses and disability support services.
Awards Ceremony took place at the Midland Hotel in Manchester to recognise those
with visual impairments who have gone far beyond expectations this year, as well
as marking Henshaw's 180th anniversary.
The ceremony was attended by,
amongst many others, the Lord Lieutenant (who is also the President of
Henshaws), the Vice Lord Lieutenant and the Mayor's of the boroughs of Greater
Gerry and Joanne were chatting with Andrew Rose, one of
Henshaw's Board Members. He became visually impaired about seven years ago, due
to a hereditary condition. Prior to that he was an accountant, but since then he
has become very involved with Henshaw's, particularly on the technology front.
The incredible development of technology has opened up so many more
possibilities for visually impaired people and he wants to share that
development and information far and wide.
is the oldest charity in Manchester and, in the past, it has been one of Yang
Sing's chosen annual charities, along with Guide Dogs for the Blind. In fact,
some years ago, Gerry went on a blindfolded walk around Manchester with the help
of a Guide Dog. It really helped him to empathise with some of the difficulties
that visually impaired people need to deal with.
The guests were seated
in the Trafford Room and entertained by virtuoso pianist, Stefan Andrusychyn and
award winning opera singer, Denise Leigh, both of whom are visually impaired and
also happen to be husband and wife and romantically met through music!
Gerry & Joanne were seated on a table with the Lord Lieutenant, the Vice
Lord Lieutenant, the Lord Mayor of Manchester, the Mayor of Oldham, Nick Marr
(the CEO of Henshaws) and two trustees from the Zochonis Trust.
discovered that Nick Marr has written a book called 'How to Run a Charity'.
Gerry has decided that he will buy a copy to read anf to educate himself better.
The compère for the afternoon was Tom Walker, who was also visually
impaired. He was very lively, with an impish sense of humour.
was also entertained by an excellent guitar group called Biscuit.
were a variety of awards, including the Young Person of the Year (Aged under 12)
which was won by Jackson Edward.
There was also a father and son, who each won an award. Paul Forster winning
a Technology Award and Jamie Forster winning the Young Person of the Year Award
(12-25 years of age). Dad could not be there, so Jamie collected both awards,
telling everyone in his speech that his ambition was to play football for
The Gillian Lawrence Award given to people who have managed to overcome
personal challenges, was won by Bryony Fielding who was very tearful and
emotional in receiving her award. When asked by the compère how she felt, she
quipped that the tears were probably because of the amount of delicious cakes
that she had been tempted to eat during the afternoon, which had ruined her diet
A presentation was given which showed the history of Henshaws and
how, over the years, the charity has learned, innovated and used ever changing
technology to improve the lives of visually impaired people.
inspirational afternoon came to an end, Nick Marr made his closing speech and
stated that Henshaws is an organisation for the visually impaired, but has a
vision to achieve beyond expectations.
16th June 2017
Green Fold Special School in Farnworth, part of the Orchards Federation , on
Save the Children Den Day
Gerry and Joanne visited Green Fold
School to meet the children on National Den Day. They were invited by Rachel
Parker and also by J P Hardman and Peter Gore of Bolton Rugby Union Football
Club, who work with the school to provide rugby sessions for the children every
was slightly sidelined on this day, because the children were building dens on
the field to celebrate Save The Children's Den Day and were learning about the
importance of shelter to children all over the world.
As they arrived at the
school entrance, Gerry and Joanne were met by a group of excited children
accompanied by Rachel and the Head Master, Andrew Feeley.
The immediate star attraction was Gerry's sword!
Gerry and Joanne
were taken to the playing fields where children were building some incredible
dens from cardboard boxes and bed sheets and all sorts of things! In the middle
of the field was the BRUFC den made with rugby post protectors and tackle bags
and filled with numerous rugby balls. Not sure if they were to be used for
training or to repel invaders!
The kids were having a great time and a
mixed ability group were being encouraged to run with and pass the balls.
Green Fold School is a special school which is part of the Orchards Federation.
It caters for children aged 4-11 with a wide variety of complex educational
needs. It is a place where each pupil is allowed to express themselves as
individuals and learn in a style that best meets their needs. Their ethos is
Growing, Sharing, Learning , Laughing and Celebrating Success Together
children came over to ask what Gerry and Joanne were doing there and soon they
were helping to build the den whilst being asked lots of questions. Is it a real
sword? Can I touch it? Soon the children were queuing up to have their
photograph taken wearing Gerry's hat and holding his sword, with Gerry standing
by their side! He commented to one girl that wearing his hat would spoil her
hair and her response was: 'I don't care!'Gerry felt as though he had never been
He was asked whether he had ever met the Queen and answered
that he had and that we should all try to be like her because she works so hard.
One little girl said that she had seen the Queen six times, but she didn't
remember because she was a baby!
some brilliant questions and a long photo session, Gerry and Joanne visited all
the dens which had been built around the field. When they returned to the BRUFC
den they were invited inside and got involved in a large scrum - which became
another photo session!
They then went back into the school and were taken
around the classrooms where children with varying degrees of disabilities and
learning difficulties were having lessons.
Gerry fell in love with a
little girl named Angel, who was bright, feisty and, refusing to be held back by
having no arms had learned to use the mouse and access the computer with her
feet. They had a bit of a chat whilst Gerry admired her skills and he was
delighted when she shouted "Bye! See you!" as he left. He was overwhelmed and
inspired by her spirit and determination to overcome obstacles.
the children were making cakes and enjoying the results.
Gerry and Joanne
were humbled by the love, patience and skills of the teachers and teaching
assistants who were working with the children.
They discovered that Green
Fold also provides hydrotherapy, rebound therapy and many sensory experiences
which help the children to increase contact with the outside world and build
During tea in the Headmaster's Room he explained that
he came from a mainstream school and it has been a steep learning curve for him.
Orchard Federation is made up of The Orchards Nursery, Cherry Tree Primary and
Green Fold Special School - with a total of 600 children. Although the schools
have separate academic/learning programmes, socially there is a huge cross over
They have a scheme where some of the older children from
Cherry Tree were awarded the title of Play Leader with the privilege of coming
to play and spend time with some of the children with physical and learning
difficulties at play time. They take great pride in this privilege. It is an
admirable model and teaches the children empathy and understanding.
commented that the teachers are very special. They need not only love and
patience but also a good understanding of the medical conditions and needs of
the children. Each child is treated as an individual.
and Joanne had a very very special day.
Their experiences at Green Fold and
at the Henshaws Awards really reinforced their belief that we live in a caring
and protective culture and we take care of and learn from vulnerable people.
Such goodwill, generosity of spirit and joy of life is very precious and is to
Gerry & Joanne's second Judges' Dinner was held at their home in Heaton
Gerry created the menu and one of the chefs from Yang Sing Cathay
kindly assisted the success of the evening by moving temporarily from Yang Sing
Cathay to home, leaving Gerry & Joanne to host the dinner and enjoy the results
of his culinary talents as well as the company of their guests.
rounded of the evening by sampling a rather delicious bottle of Hennessy XO
Cognac. XO has to be ten years old to be given the name, but this particular
bottle was given to Gerry as a gift from a friend from Hong Kong, who had bought
it at least 40 years ago, on his Installation Day. It was therefore at least 50
years old and had matured beautifully!
24th June 2017
for the Re-Dedication of The Northenden War Memorial & Armed Forces Day in
Northenden and Wythenshawe
Gerry and Joanne were honoured to be invited by Mr Graham McIsaac, The
President of the Northenden Branch of the Royal British Legion to attend the
re-dedication of the Northenden War Memorial.
The area around the War
Memorial has been refurbished with financial support from the National Lottery
Funded War Memorials Trust, from the Neighbourhood Network of the Wythenshawe
Wards of Manchester City Council and the Manchester Airport Community Fund.
Gerry & Joanne were met as they arrived by Graham McIsaac.
The Guests of Honour were the Lord Lieutenant of Greater Manchester and Mrs
Kath Robinson Dl and the service was respectful and inspirational. Every name
inscribed on the War Memorial was read out loud. As Gerry listened and then read
out the names of the 10 people allocated to him, he was moved to realise that
some surnames were repeated, meaning that some families lost more than one
family member - sons, fathers, brothers.
were laid, fervent prayers were said and many people stood in silent unity as
they remembered the courage of the people who gave their lives for us all.
'They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old, age shall not
weary them, nor the years condemn, at the going down of the sun and in the
morning, we will remember them.'
After the service, tea and coffee
was served and the Armed Forces Day then began.
There was a display of
military vehicles, which was very interesting. Gerry and Joanne also watched a
re-enactment carried out by the 1879 Group and talked to some of the members
The 1879 Group was formed at the Museum of South Wales
Borderers in Brecon in 1998 by a dedicated group of people who had a consuming
interest in the Anglo-Zulu War of 1869.
One of their aims is to locate, renovate and re-dedicate the graves of those
who made it back to Britain. Some members carry out research into Anglo-Zulu
history and keep alive the memory of the soldiers on both sides of the
They showed Gerry and Joanne a bell tent that was used to
sleep 12 people, who lay in a star shape, with their heads and the majority if
their body inside the tent and their feet stuck outside!
Gerry & Joanne also spoke with a 95 years old lady who told lots of stories
of her work as a nurse in a burns unit looking after soldiers during WWII. She
is definitely the most sprightly 95 year old that they have ever met. She still
enjoys visiting Northenden Club (which was called the Old comrades Association
when it first opened) and spending time with her friends. Her favourite tipple
is rum, which is probably the secret of both her longevity and her energy!
26th June 2017
The visit of the Duke & Duchess of Cornwall to
The visit was made to express condolences and provide
support after the dreadful Manchester attack.
The Royal Couple first made a
private visit to Manchester Arena and met with some of the staff and emergency
services who were first on the scene of the bombing.
They then travelled to the Town Hall, where crowds of people waited to
welcome them and there were many press representatives.
Gerry and Joanne joined the civic line-up and shook hands with His Royal
Highness and the Duchess, who then split up as the civic line up was completed.
His Royal Highness joined a round table meeting, in which Gerry took part,
during which they discussed the impact of the attack and the positive things
that are being done in Manchester, following the atrocities. It was a very
forward looking discussion, demonstrating Manchester's resilience. The message
that came through loud and clear from representatives from different faith
groups, community groups etc was that they are all proud to be Mancunian and
that the dreadful atrocities have made everyone stand in solidarity together -
that Manchester is responding with pride, belief, determination, togetherness
and efficiency - and that everyone is thankful to have emergency services and a
City Council upon which we can rely. It was also mentioned that a fund was set
up straight away and that within ten days cash was being distributed to the
Whilst the discussion took place, the Duchess of Cornwall met
with some of the victims of the attack. She spoke at length with a young girl,
who was in a wheelchair, and whose friend had been killed in the blast. Her
parents described the horrendous night, the fact that it was the first time that
their daughter had been to a concert without them and how they had cried in fear
as they searched for her.
The Duchess was very sympathetic and caring.
She invited them all to come to London when their daughter was feeling better
for Afternoon Tea. One of her staff gave the parents a business card to allow
them to get in touch
The Royal couple then met up again in the Great Hall as
they spoke with representatives of hospital groups, the Red Cross, faith groups,
the Prince's Trust and Mosaic Group, the British Asian Trust, the Etihad Respite
Centre, Manchester Youth Council Group and Support for Victims and Families and
Royal Highness made a compassionate, encouraging and supportive speech, sharing
this personal experiences in the wake of the London Bridge Terror Attack and the
Terror Van Attack outside a London mosque and offering sincere and heartfelt
27th June 2017
Sixth Form Community Action Celebration Evening at Bolton
Gerry arrived at Bolton School and was immediately helped by a very polite
and helpful young man, who directed him to the Leverhulme Suite of the Riley
Centre. He took great interest in Gerry's uniform, as he is interested in all
things military and his career ambition is to join the Army.
out that he was one of the Sixth Formers to receive an award that evening and
one of eight students who were chosen to made a presentation regarding their
voluntary community work.
Gerry was received by Sophie Entwistle, Head of
Community Action and introduced to Mr P Britton and Mrs S Hincks, the Heads of
Bolton School. He was impressed and inspired to learn that one in five of the
school's pupils have bursary support and that they were working hard to increase
that figure to one in four.
Bolton School has nursery, primary and
secondary facilities and is very enterprising, renting out its space in a
variety of ways - even as a wedding venue - during evenings and holiday periods
to create further funds that can be used to help the pupils. The grounds and
buildings were immaculate.
Gerry also learned that the hall that he was
taken into had started its life as a swimming pool! He was introduced to Sixth
Formers, proud parents, Governors and the Head of the Governing Body.
Sophie opened the evening, telling everyone that Bolton School was proud to be
the first ever school to be presented with the Queen's Voluntary Service Award.
They encourage all their Sixth Formers to get involved in their local community
and this year they were celebrating the momentous achievement of registering
9,243 hours of voluntary work.
The top 80 performing Sixth Form students
attended the presentation evening and picked up Bronze, Silver or Gold awards
depending on whether they had committed over 20 hours, 50 hours of 100 hours in
helping the local community. 143 students had achieved at least a Bronze status,
with as many as 25 attaining the Gold award, helping out in a wide range of
institutions including Brownies, Beavers and Scouts, at Bolton School's SHINE
Saturday morning programme, as classroom assistants or mentors at local schools,
working with the homeless in Greater Manchester, offering translation services,
working in hospices and care homes, assisting with local charities such as Urban
Outreach and Bolton Lads and Girls Club - and in many other ways.
the students then shared presentations about the work that they had done.
Ali, who volunteered at Bolton Hospice, advised the audience: "If an
opportunity comes your way in the future, take it:. Anika, who worked as a
Student Leader at Gordonstoun's Summer School for four weeks, said that it was
one of the greatest experiences of her life and that it was something that she
would never forget. Maryam recalled how her time at Urban Outreach had been
"something I looked forward to" and that volunteering was something that she
will continue with throughout her life
Gerry was delighted to hand out
He congratulated the students and the school on their inspirational success.
He told them about the history of the role of High Sheriff and that his main job
now is the privilege of connecting and engaging with the charitable, voluntary,
faith, ethnic, cultural and business communities in the county.
He encouraged the students to continue with their good work, allow their
civic pride and community spirit to grow and to engage more and more with their
community. This would enrich the lives of the people that they helped and in
turn enrich their own lives.
He was sure that there would be future High
Sheriffs amongst them!
He then used his sword to 'cut' a beautiful and
delicious celebratory cake, which was shared by all.
28th June 2017
Visit to Smart Works, Greater Manchester in Stockport
Smart Works (www.smartworks.org.uk) is a lottery funded charity
which helps women get back into work.
If you are a woman with a confirmed
job interview, Smart works Greater Manchester will give you a complete outfit
(yours to keep) and advice on how to get the job. They provide interview advice,
a complete quality outfit and accessories and even a voucher for a second
Each appointment lasts about two hours and includes one to one
advice and training. The clothes are donated by other working women or come from
their retail partners and they work closely with Job Centre Plus, housing
It was set up in London four years ago, with a branch in
Manchester following two years later.
When Gerry and Joanne were welcomed
by Fiona Gunnion, Janet Pickering and the team they learned that there is only
one salaried member of staff, the CEO, and the rest of the team are very hard
working and experienced volunteers.
Gerry and Joanne had a conducted tour and were amazed by the racks of
clothes from which the ladies can choose.
Lots of the ladies come from under-privileged backgrounds, abusive
relationships or have had limited education. Smart Works work hard to help them
to build up their self esteem and rebuild their confidence.
The success rate
of their ladies in securing jobs is an incredible 70%.
Gerry and Joanne
were impressed and inspired by the charity's excellent work and promised to
spread the word far and wide!
28th June 2017
Making Ceremony - Oldham
The Mayor Making Ceremony for the new Youth Mayor of Oldham, Mohammed Marouf
Ahmed, was held in the Mayor's Parlour and Council Chamber at Oldham Civic
Marouf lives with his parents and siblings in Coppice and is
currently studying Mechanical engineering at the University of Liverpool. He
joined the Oldham Youth Council four years ago and has also served as the Member
of Youth Parliament for Oldham within the UK Youth Parliament. He has
represented Oldham's young people, locally, regionally and even internationally!
Maybe we have a future PM on our hands.
Marouf is also into football and
shares his skills as a coach for Coppice Rangers.
Gerry & Joanne enjoyed
getting to know the Youth Mayor a little better during refreshments in the
Mayor's Parlour. They also met the retiring Youth Mayor, Mr T Jay Turner, who is
off to Edinburgh University in September to study English.
delighted to catch up with the Mayor & Mayoress of Oldham too, whose Mayor
Making Ceremony they were honoured to attend in May.
At 6:00pm everyone
moved into the Council Chambers for the formal ceremony and the guests were
formally welcomed by the Mayor of Oldham.
This was the first time that Gerry & Joanne had ever attended a Youth Mayor
The retiring Youth Mayor asked for nominations for
2017-18 and there was a show of hands from those in favour. He then stated:
Youth Councillor Marouf Ahme, I am delighted to inform you that by the
unanimous consent of Oldham Youth Council you have been duly elected as Youth
Mayor of the Oldham Metropolitan Borough for the forthcoming municipal year'
Youth Mayor then made and signed his Declaration of Acceptance of Office with
the CEO, Dr C Wilkins OBE.
The new Youth Mayor is blessed with a rather
splendid beard, in fact the retiring Mayor went on to make reference to it in
his speech! However, at this stage, when the retiring Youth Mayor passed over
his chain, the beard was the cause of a slight delay and a few smiles and jokes
as the chain became stuck and had to be untangled!!
retiring Youth Mayor and the new Youth Mayor then changed seats.
inspiring speeches followed and the new Youth Mayor stated that he wanted to be
a beacon of unity and was looking forward to exploring the wider areas of Oldham
and spreading and adding to the love that he already had for his borough.
Refreshments were enjoyed by everyone in the Lees Suite.
5th May 2017
The High Sheriff and Joanne arrived at Fairfield Golf & Sailing Club for the Greater Manchester High Sheriff's Police Trust Golf Day to be met by a group of hard working Police Cadets who were doing an excellent job as parking attendants, stewards and even 'caddies ' carrying golf clubs for the contestants.
Gerry and Joanne managed to grab a quick cuppa as the teams gathered near the Club House, were entertained by the GMP Band and prepared to tee off.
Gerry sent them off with some encouraging words. That morning there had been a story on the news about albatrosses (the feathered variety!) being counted by satellites He hoped that there would be many more (the golfing variety!) to be counted during the competition, but none to be found on the menu that evening!
It was a gloriously sunny day, but rather windy which provided quite a challenging day for golf.
Not being golfers, Gerry and Joanne then left the teams to enjoy their afternoon of sport and promised to return for the dinner that evening.
Gerry returned in full uniform, bringing his sword rather than a club!
Ex President, Paul McKee made a warm welcoming speech and Glen Lockett, Head of Income Generation for Greater Manchester High Sheriff's Police Trust also said a few words.
Everyone then enjoyed a delicious dinner and excellent company.
After dinner, Gerry made a short speech. He congratulated the winning team. There were actually two teams, Lucas Fettes and Sammon Media, who drew for first place, but Lucas Mettes took the trophy on the back nine.
He also congratulated everyone who took part and helped to raise funds of almost £7,000 for the Greater Manchester High Sheriff's Police Trust, which supports projects in the area that reduce crime and the fear of crime in our communities, as well as providing help to vulnerable people of all ages.
He caused quite a stir by claiming that golf was actually invented in China over 1,000 years ago! His golf jokes also went down well with a very generous audience, though not as well as the ones told by very funny professional comedian, Charlie Hale, after dinner.
An entertaining and successful day was enjoyed by all.
7th May 2017
The 25th Anniversary of Homeland Day Nursery in Altrincham was held on a gloriously warm and sunny day.
Gerry and Joanne arrived safely after waiting for what seemed like an eternity at a nearby level crossing for both trams and trains to cross!
They were greeted by Alice Apel, the owner, and Lisa Roberts, the manager, who showed them around.
The party was set up in a beautiful garden space where families, including grandparents, parents, children and babies, were enjoying cake stalls, climbing frames and bouncy castles.
It was immediately obvious that the nursery was a very happy place. Gerry and Joanne were introduced to staff and guests and were surrounded by lots of smiling faces.
Gerry made a short speech of congratulations and thoroughly enjoyed cutting the delicious and beautifully made cake - not with his sword!
They chatted to lots of parents and children, who shared stories of Homeland. Many of the guests were past parents who came with teenagers who had attended the nursery as small children.
One of the sweetest experiences was meeting a family who had come back specially to see the music teacher, because they used to enjoy her sing along sessions so much. She was sat in a corner with her guitar and some puppets surrounded by a group of children who were thoroughly enjoying joining in with her.
Happy children, some wearing princess dresses and many with their faces painted, had a wonderful day.
It was a joy!
9th May 2017
The High Sheriff met with Amy Stevens from Gifted Philanthropy this
afternoon. They had a very interesting conversation about Dippy on Tour.
Apparently, the Natural History Museum's iconic diplodocus skeleton will be
visiting Rochdale between February and June 2020.
Gerry enjoyed the
discussion and was delighted to talk about something that is actually older than
him! The visit of Dippy will be used to help spread the word about the key
themes of Origins and Evolution, Biodiversity and Sustainability.
keep you updated as to progress.
We all love dinosaurs are very much
looking forward to welcoming Dippy to Rochdale.
10th May 2017
The Dean of Manchester, the Very Reverend Rogers Govender, graciously
invited the High Sheriff to his office at Manchester Cathedral.
Gerry very much enjoyed meeting the Dean and learned a lot about Manchester
and especially about the Cathedral.
The Dean's belief in justice and
inclusiveness has exemplifies itself in his engagement with the various
stakeholders and communities in Manchester. Like Gerry, he has made Manchester
his home. He has made many connections with all the other faith communities.
During his time as Dean, with the help of his team (including the High
Steward, who is Warren Smith, the Lord Lieutenant), he has raised an incredible
£10,000,000 for Manchester Cathedral.
Under his aegis, a continuous
restoration programme has been carried out, including the installation of
under-floor heating, a new organ etc.
During 2016 Manchester Cathedral had a new organ built, generously sponsored
by the Stoller Charitable Trust. The total cost was approximately £2.6m. The
Stoller Organ will be at the centre of Cathedral music and in use virtually
every day of the year for services, concerts, recitals, recordings and teaching.
The building works were completed in the winter of 2016/17, and the voicing and
sounding of the instrument is still taking place.
The Hope Window was generously sponsored by the Oglesby Charitable Trust.
The glorious new stained glass window was dedicated in December and replaced an
existing plain glass window.
The Dean kindly took Gerry on a tour of the
Cathedral and told him all about the history of the beautiful church.
1215 Robert Greslet, Lord of the Manor and 5th Baron of Manchester decided to
build the current church next to his manor house (now Chetham's Library). By
1360 the delicately carved arch into the Lady Chapel was built, as well as the
former tower. Over many years the Parish Church was extended, but it was only in
1847 that the Diocese of Manchester was created and the church became a
By 1864 the tower was in a dangerous condition, it was
demolished and the foundation stone was laid for a new one. The new tower was a
replica of the old one, but six feet taller and completed in 1868.
parts of the Cathedral were replaced over the next 80 or so years, as well as
extensions and a refectory and Choir School.
The Manchester Cathedral
Choir comes from Chetham's School, built on the same site.
In 1940 a German
bomb destroyed most of the North East of the Cathedral as well as damage to the
rest of the building. It took almost twenty years to restore. One of the stained
glass windows is called the Window of fire and depicts the Blitz.
1996 an IRA bomb exploded close to the Cathedral and caused further damage.
Over the last ten years much of the stonework has been cleaned and the building
has become 'open' with large amounts of public space.
It is an open and
welcoming community space as well as a beautiful and inspirational place of
Gerry enjoyed a fascinating learning experience and very much looks
forward to working with the Dean during his year as High Sheriff.
11th May 2017
Manchester & Salford Universities Royal Naval
Unit's Annual Reception
The event was held in the University Barracks on Boundary Lane in
Manchester. They are just behind the University of Salford. The High Sheriff had
travelled along that road dozens of times and yet he had never noticed that
there was a barracks there!
Gerry and Joanne were greeted warmly by Lt
Phil Curry and groups of very enthusiastic young naval cadets.
The idea of
the Annual Reception is to provide a training evolution for the cadets and
provides an opportunity to expose them to a more formal 'meet and greet'. The
event mimics the kind of receptions that are routinely held on board Her
Majesty's Warships when they visit foreign ports; they allow dignitaries and
heads of business to meet the ship's company and to discuss British interests in
the local area. This event showcased what the Manchester & Salford Universities
Royal Naval Unit has achieved over the last 12 months.
The cadets are all
university undergraduates, some were new recruits and some had been cadets for a
Every week they come to the barracks for training; physical,
leadership and social. Every summer they are assigned tasks of various types,
they could even become part of the crew of a patrol boat. The tasks can lead to
promotion within the cadets.
Some of the cadets decide to enter the Navy
as a career and apply in the usual way. Some choose other career paths.
Whichever way, becoming a Naval Cadet is a tremendous experience.
cadets were bright, cheerful, polite, proud and sociable - a credit to the Navy.
Gerry and Joanne really enjoyed the evening and their company. They send
their very best wishes to all of them for their future.
Broughton House Centenary Service at Manchester Cathedral
The High Sheriff and Joanne were honoured to attend a service commemorating
the 100th anniversary of Broughton House at Manchester Cathedral.
Broughton House was opened in 1916 and since then it has cared for more than
8000 veterans of our armed forces - 'caring for those who cared for us'.
A huge congregation was seated in the cathedral as they arrived, Joanne took
her seat and Gerry joined the civic line up awaiting the arrival of HRH The Duke
The Royal Car arrived at the West Door and the Lord Lieutenant
introduced HRH The Duke of York to the Dean of Manchester, The Very Revd. Rogers
Govender and the Sub-Dean, The Rev'd Canon Philip Barratt.
presented The Bishop of Manchester, The Bishop of Middleton, The Lord Mayor of
Manchester, The Mayor of Salford and the Chairman of Broughton House, Professor
Sir Netar Mallick DL MB FRCP as well as two residents from Broughton House.
The service was dignified and beautiful, led by the Dean of Manchester, sung
by the Choir of Manchester Cathedral conducted by Christopher Stokes, the organ
was played majestically by Geoffrey Woollatt and Gary Hulme, Organist for
Broughton House. Stirring music was played before and during the service by the
Band of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (Lancashire).
The CEO of
Broughton House, Mr Ty Platten spoke from the heart about the plans for
Broughton House for the next 100 years, including fund raising for a complete
After refreshments, the civic line up re-formed as HRH The Duke
of York left the Cathedral, this time including the grandson of the founder of
It was a very moving and inspirational experience.
16th May 2017
The Annual Council Meeting and the Civic Reception of The Mayor of
Stockport, Cllr Linda Holt and her consort, Mr Ken Holt.
Stockport is Gerry's home borough and this was the first time that he had ever
attended an Annual Meeting of the Council. He enjoyed observing and absorbing
the tradition and formality of the event.
In attendance were the Vice
Lord Lieutenant, many fellow DLs from Stockport as well as the retiring Mayor,
Councillor Chris Gordon and his Mayoress, Dr Margaret Gordon, the retiring
Deputy Mayor, all the Council Members and friends and family of the incoming
Mayor, Cllr Linda Holt and her consort, Ken Holt.
The retiring Mayor opened the meeting by announcing his retirement. The
incoming Mayor and her consort were then elected and returned thanks. The past
Mayor & Mayoress were then thanked for their services and given a replica of
their badges as a memento.
The incoming Deputy Mayor & Mayoress were then
appointed in the same way.
Council business was then conducted by the
Leader of the Council, Cllr Alex Ganotis.
Gerry later learned that the
current Mayoral Consort, Ken Holt, had been the Mayor of Stockport some years
ago and the present Mayor, Cllr Linda Holt was his Mayoress. This year they will
enjoy role reversal!
He also learned that Cllr Alex Ganotis's ward is Heaton North, Gerry's home
During the Civic Reception and afternoon tea after the meeting and
listening to the powerful music of The Mighty Wurlitzer, played with style by
Charles Brown, Gerry sat next to Cllr Alex Ganotis, who was a delightful young
man and really embodied the spirit of serving the community. He felt that his
home ward of Heaton North was definitely in good hands!
The Mayor Making Ceremony of The Mayor of Oldham,
Councillor Shadab Qumer and his Mayoress, Mrs Sobia Arshi
Today Gerry experienced his second annual General Meeting as he and Joanne
attended the Mayor Making Ceremony and Lunch of the Mayor of Oldham.
Oldham has a very modern Town Hall, built in the 1960's and, as they arrived at
the Council Chambers, they spoke with the retiring Mayor & Mayoress, Cllr Derek
Heffernan and his Mayoress, Mrs Di Heffernan .They also met with good friends,
Sir Norman & Lady Sheila Stoller and the Vice Lord Lieutenant, Edith Conn.
The incoming Mayor, who is a traditional family man, attended the University
of Leicester, after which he set up a very successful furniture business. He is
a very enthusiastic, inclusive and diligent councillor and when he was on the
Planning Committee , he visited the site related to every application!
His wife will support him as Mayoress , with the help of his 16 year old
After the Mayor Making, a delicious luncheon was provided in the Queen
Elizabeth Hall with a choice between English and Indian food. Gerry and Joanne
enjoyed the Chicken Tikka, Vegetable Pakora Salad and the Lamb Karahi.
the meal they spoke with the first ever CEO of Oldham Council, Carolyn Wilkins,
who has carried out a lot of good work on the regeneration of Oldham Town
Both Gerry & Joanne were amused and fully understood the Mayor's
comment that they would be so busy this year that they would have no time for
cooking, so to feed the family they he would need to download the Pizza Express
app onto his phone and order on the way home from engagements!
18th May 2017
The High Sheriff and Joanne were honoured to host their first Judges'Dinner
at Yang Sing Restaurant.
Gerry pulled out all the stops, created the
menu and asked his wine guru from Gerrard Seel, who also attended the dinner, to
pair the dishes with just the right wines.
Gerry & Joanne were ably
supported by a small group of friends - good food, good wine and good company!
19th May 2017
The High Sheriff and Joanne were invited by the Confucius Institute and the
University of Manchester to attend the premiere of From Shore to Shore, a
multilingual theatre event , incorporating food and music, which tells the story
of the UK Chinese Community through English, Mandarin and Cantonese and was
performed by a Chinese cast.
The afternoon premiere was held at the Yang
From Shore to Shore is possibly the first ever play
written about Chinese migration to UK. It was very well performed - with
emotion, humour, romance and songs.
Gerry and Joanne were privileged to be there and felt a great affinity with the
play and the characters, not only because it is the dramatisation of many real
life stories that they have come across over the years, but also because they
possibly made a minor contribution.
They were both interviewed by the
playwright, award winning writer, Mary Cooper and her collaborator, Mimi W Sun
(a friend of Gerry from university days) , and maybe some of their life
experiences found their way into the play.
The essence of the play is the
question of home - and how you find it. There are many perspectives in that
search, but if you look at it through the eyes of migrants, like Gerry and
Joanne, it is as much about retaining their Chinese heritage as being part of
the mainstream society and culture.
Gerry was particularly pleased to see
the Chinese actors on the day. For whilst the Chinese second generation is well
integrated and extremely successful, there are relatively few Chinese who have
found their way into the acting profession. They are real trailblazers.
Joanne congratulated the cast on a very moving performance and left them some
wine to celebrate with after the evening performance that day. They hope that
the play will be adopted into mainstream theatre one day.
20th May 2017
Chinese Song UK at Manchester Central
Sheriff and Joanne had an amazing evening - really enjoyable!
Song UK was set up three years ago , organised by the UK Young Chinese
Entrepreneur Association and sponsored by the Confucius Institutes as an event
to encourage cultural exchange. The competitors are all non-Chinese, but they
sing Chinese songs.
The competition commences with auditions before the
day and by Saturday there were 10 finalists of various ages (from 20s to 60s)and
backgrounds. They could be language students studying Mandarin or people simply
learning Mandarin as a hobby, some of them through the Confucius Institute.
One competitor was from North Wales. He loves singing and went to a Chinese
party, where they encouraged him to sing in Chinese. He said that if they would
teach him, he would do it. They did and he was hooked!
The songs performed
were many varied, from modern popular songs, to 1980's Chinese pop by Teresa
Teng, to traditional songs performed in masked costumes which were first sung
over 2000 years ago. There was even one guy who was rapping!
were professionals: opera singers, song writers and a lecturer from Royal
Northern College of Music. The compères were presenters from Propeller TV and
The standard of singing was superb, their mastery of Mandarin
incredible and the competition very high .
The £3,000 First Prize was
eventually awarded to Alec Loane from North Wales and Gerry awarded the Second
Prize of £2,000 to Emily Williams.
After the awards were presented, lots of the competitors and organisers
wanted to have their photos taken with Gerry in his uniform!
Joanne are very much hoping that they will be able to go again next year!
21st May 2017
At 11am on 21st May at Manchester Cathedral the Civic Service took place in
the presence of the Right Worshipful, The Lord Mayor of the City of Manchester,
Councillor Eddy Newman.
The Lord Mayor will be supported by two Lady
Mayoresses for the year, his daughter Naomi for the first six months and his
wife, Sheila for the second.
A fanfare was sounded and the dignitaries,
including the High Sheriff, processed into the cathedral, whilst the
congregation sang Amazing Grace.
The Lord Mayor was greeted by
representatives of Manchester's faith communities:-
The Rt. Rev. David
Walker, Bishop of Manchester on behalf of the Christian community.
Sharon Banister on behalf of the Jewish community.
Mr A K Sinha on
behalf of the Hindu community
Afzal Khan CBE MEP on behalf of the
The Venerable Miao Di, Director of Fu Guan Shan
Temple on behalf of the Buddhist community
and the Dean of Manchester
welcomed the congregation to the service.
It was an uplifting, inclusive
and inspirational experience.
The Civic Service was followed by a delicious buffet in the Great Hall at
Manchester Town Hall.
21st May 2017
Later on 21st May, the High Sheriff and Joanne were honoured to attend the
Civic Sunday Celebration of The Right Worshipful The Ceremonial Mayor of
Salford, Councillor Peter Connor at St Paul's Parish Church, Moor Lane, Kersal.
The Mayor was sixth in a family of ten children and was born and grew up in
Salford. He left school aged 15 and started work. His political career started
by joining the trade union in the engineering industry, he was later appointed
shop steward and convenor.
His wife, Mary, is a writer and a painter .
Together they have six children, fourteen grandchildren and five great
grandchildren. They also worked as foster parents in Salford for over 20 years.
The Mayor was accompanied by his two Mayoresses, his wife Mrs Mary Connor
and his daughter in law, Mrs Claire Connor.
Job sharing seems to be the
in thing for Mayoresses this year!
The Mayor was welcomed by the Redd
Canon Lisa Battye, Area Dean of Salford and Rabbi Benjamin Simmonds from
Manchester Great and New Synagogue.
Following prayers for Salford were
readings from both the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament.
made a moving address.
After Prayers of Dedication, a Blessing and a
rousing verse of the National Anthem the service came to a close.
It was followed by afternoon tea in the social area of St Paul's Church,
which was relaxed warm and friendly.
22nd May 2017
23rd May 2017
On this poignant, painful and respectful day, a day overflowing with sadness
and reverberating with shock, the people of Manchester came together in Albert
We expressed our sorrow for the victims of the dreadful
atrocities carried out in Manchester Arena and our support and solidarity for
their families and for Manchester.
We paid our respects and laid flowers
which rapidly grew into a sea of colour in a dark and sombre city.
Vigil brought together people from all ages, ethnicities, faiths and cultures,
bound by emotion and complete unity. In the midst of sorrow was pride, passion,
defiance and the true diversity of Manchester.
It was attended by the Mayors of all the ten boroughs, the CEOs of local
authorities, community leaders from all the ethnic groups, the leaders of all
the faith groups, the Lord Lieutenant, Chief Constable, Honorary Recorder of
Manchester and a number of local and national politicians.
attended by the people of Manchester in solidarity.
As High Sheriff, I
joined the Vigil. The city was reflective and there was a real sadness, with
everyone speaking in hushed respectful tones.
When the Vigil started,
the mood of the thousands of us who came together in Albert Square was palpable.
Someone in the crowd shouted 'thank you' to the Police and the Emergency
Services and everyone burst into spontaneous applause. In fact there was
applause at various times in response to the the speeches which were made.
The powerful reading of the poem, This is the Place, by Tony Walsh captured
the hearts of everyone in Albert Square and encapsulated our feelings.
The Bishop of Manchester, who was born in the city, spoke most movingly and
eloquently from the heart.
No-one can ever fathom the mindset of people
who carry out such acts of terror.
We all need to be truly thankful that
we live in a country where we have effective institutions and efficient and
caring emergency services who respond tirelessly and wholeheartedly and upon
whom we can rely entirely.
The whole of the Manchester community has
united and responded to this dreadful atrocity with true and unequalled
Manchester spirit - grit, pride and togetherness.
Never forget. Forever Manchester'
Tony Walsh aka Longfella This is the Place
25th May 2017
Reception at the Grand Hall, the Old Bailey, London
The High Sheriff and Joanne with all the High Sheriffs of England & Wales
were invited by The Sheriffs of the City of London, Alderman William Russell and
Alderman Peter Estlin to attend a reception in the Grand Hall of the Old Bailey
55 High Sheriffs from all across the country travelled to London with
their spouses or partners.
Gerry and Joanne entered the building through
a very small and unimpressive doorway, were thoroughly security checked and
directed along a little passageway which, when they opened the door at the end
of the corridor, felt as though they were going through the back of the wardrobe
The door opened into a more open area where glimpses of
grandeur were already apparent.
They then walked up a beautiful marble
staircase, on which was a bust of Mendelssohn, a gift from the people of Berlin.
The staircase lead to the Grand Hall, which was palatial, awesome and took
their breath away.
Waiters stood elegantly, offering champagne and canapés.
William Russell gave a very interesting address on the history of the Old Bailey
and of the role of High Sheriff.
Gerry & Joanne met up with the other
High Sheriffs from the Duchy of Lancaster, The High Sheriff of Lancashire,
Robert Mitchel Webb JP DL and the High Sheriff of Merseyside, Stephen Burrows DL
and their wives, as well as the High Sheriffs of Cheshire and Cumbria and made a
date to meet up in the near future.
They also enjoyed conversations with many other High Sheriffs, including
those of North Wales and Bedfordshire.
They had a good chat with Alderman
Peter Estlin and his wife, who actually live at the Old Bailey. The role of
Sheriff of the City of London is a six year appointment. Peter was a banker and
was posted to Hong Kong 1996-1998. He remembers the ceremony when Hong Kong was
handed back to China, which was a very rainy day! Their children were very young
at the time and don't remember anything about life in Hong Kong. From there the
family returned to UK, but Peter was posted to New York and came home to the
family every weekend!
Many High Sheriffs came over to us and offered
heartfelt words of comfort after the dreadful atrocities in Manchester. We all
shared our shock, sorrow and unity.
28th May 2017
As High Sheriff of Greater Manchester, one of Gerry's most important tasks
is to support the good causes in our communities so, as he mentioned at his
Installation, he decided to go for 'crowd funding' and to ask all his generous
family, friends and colleagues to sponsor him as he took part in the Great
His chosen charities are:
Gerry has been President of Disabled Living for
over 10 years. The charity is in its 120th year and their aim is to support
people to maintain independence and enhance and improve their lives.
Re:dish is a community based charity, set up by Gerry's Chaplain, Rev. Angie
Stanton of St Elisabeth's Church, Reddish to improve the lives of everyone in
Wai Yin Society (www.waiyin.org.uk)
Wai Yin was set up in 1988 and provides women and parenting, employment,
education and crisis support services to Chinese individuals and families, as
well as other ethnic minority groups. The charity aims to challenge all forms of
discrimination and social exclusion.
Greater Manchester High
Sheriff's Police Trust (www.gmhspt.org)
The Trust supports projects that reduce crime and fear of crime in our
communities, so that together we can find practical solutions to crime
challenges and make Greater Manchester a better place to live and work.
Chinese Health Information Centre (www.chinese-health.org.uk)
CHIC was established in 1987 to help the Chinese community in Manchester to
access the Health Service.
Local Chinese Sunday Schools
Which teach British born Chinese not only their mother tongue but also
traditions and history.
His aims were to complete the run in less than an
hour and to raise over £20,000 to share between the charities.
atmosphere in Manchester was electric. There were over 30,000 competitors and
over 3,000 from University of Manchester alone, who were given their own Purple
After the terrible happenings on 22nd May, it was as
though everyone came out to support and stand in solidarity with Manchester.
Gerry was in the Blue Wave which set off at 2pm. Before they started a
minute's silence was held and, despite the roads being lined with people at
least five deep, the silence was complete and you could hear a pin drop.
Joanne and their daughter, So Yi also took part in the Run, but because they
were in the Pink Wave they could cheer Gerry on before it was their turn.
After considerable effort and a lot of sweat, Gerry was delighted to learn
that he had achieved his first aim and went over the finishing line at 00:58:34!
If you would like to help him achieve his second aim, you can support him by
donating on his Virgin Money Giving Page
29th May 2017
The Saga of the High Sheriff's Sword!!!!
On Bank Holiday Monday, Gerry and Joanne travelled to London by
train in preparation for an engagement on the following day and the Royal Garden
Party on 1st June.
Included in their luggage was Gerry's uniform and his
ceremonial sword in its special bag. Their daughter, So Yi, who lives in London
, was on the train too travelling home after taking part with them in the Great
As you can imagine, they were all rather tired after the
previous day's exertions......well that's their story and they are sticking to
Late in the evening, they arrived in Euston, gathered their luggage
together, left the train and headed off to So Yi's apartment. But..........
Just before midnight, Margaret, the High Sheriff's PA , who is the contact for
the High Sheriff's Office received a call, which she answered very sleepily! It
was a wonderful Police Constable from the British Transport Police at London
The High Sheriff's sword had been found on the train. So, they hadn't
gathered all their luggage together after all!!
Luckily, the sword is
engraved with Gerry's name and the clever PC (who it turns out was a local lad
and born in Preston) looked him up on the High Sheriff's website and called the
High Sheriff's Office. He commented that he has seen many unusual pieces of lost
property, but this was the first time that he had ever taken custody of a
ceremonial sword! Whereupon the High Sheriff explained that it was in fact an
1897 pattern British infantry officer's sword!!
Gerry and his sword were
reunited, he thanked the PC profusely and there was a very happy ending.
emergency services are incredible!
30th May 2017
The Inauguration of the
23rd Committee of the Confederation of Chinese Associations
The Confederation of Chinese Associations UK was formed in 1968.
Its aim is to integrate the Chinese community in UK into mainstream society but
also to ensure that they do not forget their roots. They also promote Chinese
culture to the younger generation. The Confederation acts as a bridge between
Chinese and UK bilateral trades and encourages friendship between the two
It is an umbrella organisation, whose members are made up of 42
other Chinese associations from all over UK.
Gerry and Joanne were invited to
the Inauguration, which was held at the Golden Dragon Restaurant on Gerrard
Street by the President Mr Kevin Kaman Tsang who met them on arrival.
It was attended by many people from the various
associations, many from afar, and by many dignitaries including Mr John Smith DL
(representing the Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex), Councillor Par Hearn, the
Mayor of Eastbourne, the Chinese Embassy representative, Counsellor and Consul
General, Mr Fei Ming Xing and Ms Priscilla To, the Director General of the Hong
Kong Economic & Trade Office in London.
Gerry was also very grateful to the High Sheriff of Greater London, Mr
James Furber, who graciously gave his permission for Gerry to enter the
bailiwick of Greater London in his official role and wearing his High Sheriff's
The inauguration ceremony took place and speeches were given.
Gerry congratulated the new committee members and the Confederation on the
tremendous contributions that it has made to the wellbeing and welfare of the
Chinese communities across the country over the years.
He commented on the rise of economic activities in UK, the engaging of
the Chinese communities in a wide range of professional careers outside the
traditional businesses of restaurants and takeaways and the new Mandarin
speaking entrepreneurs who have ventured into import and export, logistics,
property and travel. He also touched upon huge state owned enterprises such as
Huawei and Beijing Construction.
However, he also encouraged the guests, many
of whom were leaders of Chinese communites, to be proactive in engaging,
connecting and partaking in mainstream community affairs, civic events. He said
that there were two major things to achieve: to be an integral part of the
British society and to bring benefits to local Chinese communities by doing
The formal proceedings were followed by a delicious lunch and a karaoke
session, both were enjoyed immensely by the guests!
13th April 2017
The Installation of the High Sheriff took place at the Whitworth Hall, University of Manchester.
The High Sheriff and his wife, Joanne, were privileged and delighted to share such a special day with officials, honoured guests, friends and family (some from as far away as Sweden) and even the High Sheriff's school friends who had travelled from Hong Kong for the occasion.
Gerry, describing himself as a Chinese Mancunian, told his guests how humbled he was to be made the custodian of one of the most ancient offices in the land. He illustrated his love for this country and sincerely thanked the Under Sheriff for expertly guiding them through the ceremony, as well as the Pro-Chancellor of University of Manchester and her team for their superb hospitality.
Gerry also announced his decision to go for 'crowd funding' and that he would take part on the Greater Manchester Run at the end of May to raise funds for some of the community causes in Greater Manchester.
15th April 2017
The High Sheriff and Joanne attended the Easter Camp Visitors' Day of the Greater Manchester Army Cadet Force at the Colonel Mary Creagh County Headquarters and Cadet Training Centre at
Hawkshaw, Bury where they were greeted by Colonel Paul A Irvine and had a wonderful afternoon awarding prizes, watching first aid courses, visiting the firing range and getting to know the very fit and dedicated cadets; along with the Lord Lieutenant, the Mayor & Mayoress of Bolton, the forthcoming Mayor of Bury and some former High Sheriffs.
Gerry and Joanne were made very welcome and thoroughly enjoyed their first engagement.
Friday 21st April 2017
The St George's Day Dinner was held by the Royal Society of St George at the historical Gorton Monastery .
In 1997 the Monastery was placed on the World Monuments Fund Watch List of the 100 Most Endangered Sites in the World alongside Pompeii, the Taj Mahal and the Valley of the Kings. Since then the church and associated friary buildings have undergone a £6 million restoration programme supported by funds from the Heritage Lottery Fund, English Heritage and European Regional Development Fund. A beautiful new Welcome Wing was also added in 2014 thanks to Sir Norman Stoller and the Heritage Lottery Fund.
An inspirational venue for a patriotic and uplifting evening which was attended by the great and the good of Greater Manchester.
Gerry was very honoured to be seated next to the President of the RSSG, Mr William Firth, Bill described his role as 'to promote all things English within the framework of tolerance and open-mindedness and to explore common humanity'.
Gerry and Joanne had lots of fun, with speeches, good company, good food and good wine!
Amongst the rousing hymns - I Vow to the My Country, Jerusalem and more, everyone sang a very heartfelt Happy Birthday to Her Majesty the Queen. The patriotic music played ably by the Cadishead Public Band and the enthusiastic singing raised the historical rafters of Gorton Monastery and gave the evening a real celebratory and 'Last Night of the Proms' atmosphere as everyone waved the flag of St George in time to the music.
A great evening!
Sunday 23rd April 2017
Having had a very jolly evening on Friday, Sunday began on an altogether more sombre note, as Gerry and Joanne were honoured to be invited by the Northenden Branch of the Royal British Legion to attend the ANZAC Remembrance Service at Southern Cemetery.
It was the 102nd anniversary of the landings on the Gallipoli Peninsula on 25th April 1915, when Australian and New Zealand Forces fought for the first time under united command as
the ANZACs. In both countries ANZAC Day, 25th April, commemorates not only those first landings but all the Australians and New Zealanders who have given their lives in the service of their countries since.
Gerry and Joanne were greeted by Mr Graham McIsaac, the Branch President and also by their good friends, and fellow DL, Kath Robinson and her husband, Stuart.
Having told Kath that he had researched the history of ANZAC Day and the Gallipoli Landings, Kath explained to Gerry that there are war graves at Southern Cemetery for soldiers from both WWI and WWII . He also learned that a number of injured soldiers from the ANZACs were brought to Wythenshawe Hospital and the ones that did not recover from their injuries are amongst the war graves.
The service was very moving and Gerry and Joanne were especially touched by some of the words read out from the inscription on the memorial at ANZAC Cove in the Dardanelles, ending
'You, the mothers, who sent your sons from faraway countries , wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace, after having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.'
The service was attended by Lieutenant Commander Rob Thompson, Royal Australian Navy and Flight Lieutenant Sam Bradley, New Zealand Defence Forces.
Lieutenant Commander Rob Thompson is on an exchange programme from Australia with the British Navy, is based in Bristol and had travelled to Manchester specially for the day with his wife and beautiful children. He laid a wreath in memory of the fallen Australian soldiers.
Flight Lieutenant Sam Bradley had also travelled from the south of England accompanied by his fiancée. He is currently studying for a Masters Degree in Engineering in UK. He laid a wreath in memory of the fallen soldiers from New Zealand.
Gerry was also delighted to meet the Standard Bearer, Mr Stephen Duncan from Hulme and his son,
During his engagements, Gerry is learning more and more about the city and the people of Manchester.
Sunday 23rd April 2017
Sunday afternoon brought another auspicious occasion when Gerry and Joanne attended the opening of the most impressive Stoller Hall.
They entered through Chetham's School across a specially constructed bridge which enters the new building at balcony level. There they joined the Civic Line Up with the Lord Mayor of Manchester, Councillor Carl Austin- Behan and his Consort , Mr Simon Austin-Behan as they awaited the presence of HRH The Earl of Wessex, the Patron of Chetham's School of Music.
The construction of the building was gifted by the Oglesby Family Trust and it has previously been used by Chetham's School to house practice rooms. The school then had a vision to create a space to match the unique talents of Chetham's young players and to enhance Manchester's reputation as a destination for every type of music. In 2014, the Stoller Charitable Trust offered to turn that dream into a reality and expertise in architectural and acoustic design was brought together to create an incredible performance space. The final fit out taking place in Autumn 2016.
It was a wonderful experience to raise a glass to such a unique venue.
The guests were seated, HRH the Earl of Wessex arrived, was sincerely welcomed and was accompanied onto the stage where, with charm and wit he formally opened Stoller Hall. To everyone's amusement he commented that this was the second time that he had visited the building, so he must had done a decent job the first time because he had been invited back!
The opening Celebration Concert was attended by the benefactor, Sir Norman Stoller. Conductor Sir Mark Elder and Director of Music at Chetham's, Stephen Threlfall directed a host of superb musicians in a specially formed orchestra of alumni, family and friends in a performance beginning with Walton's Henry V, Brahms Alto Rhapsody led
by mezzo soprano Kitty Whately, and Ginastera's Variaciones
Gerry's personal highlight was the relaxed, effortless and enchanting performance of alumnus and internationally renowned pianist, Paul Lewis, who completed the line up playing Beethoven's Piano Concerto No.2.
When the concert was over, the Civic Line Up reassembled and a comment was made by one of the Security Officers that the Royal Schedule was a little delayed. Gerry responded that it was only because the music had been so good and the performances so outstanding that encores had been demanded by the delighted audience. The laughing Security Officer said that was an excellent excuse and if any comments were made he would definitely blame the audience!
Sir Norman and Lady Sheila Stoller joined the Civic Line Up to say goodbye to HRH the Earl of Wessex, who was most charming. His presence was hugely appreciated by all.
Gerry also learned on the day that the next project at Chetham's School of Music is to extend the library building - so watch this space!
26th April 2017
Juanita Yau and Yen Siang Tan (CEO of Wai Yin Society)
At 7pm Gerry arrived at BBC Quay House to meet with Juanita Yau to record an interview for the radio programme, Eastern Horizon (95.1).
Eastern Horizon was first broadcast on 15th December 1983 as a recorded 30 minute programme once a month. It now broadcasts live on BBC Radio Manchester (as well as on the internet) every Saturday between midnight and 1am.
It is a community access programme produced by and for the Chinese Community in Greater Manchester and the North West and was founded, and is still run by, a group of Chinese volunteers and described as 'a communication channel between the Chinese community and the host community'.
Juanita has been a researcher, producer, editor, interviewer and presenter since 1990. She spends one day a week at Media City and gives her extensive skills entirely voluntarily. She is also chairs the Wai Yin Society - one of the largest BME community centres in UK, which has developed a range of employment, education and community services for Chinese men and women, as well as other ethnic minority groups; as well as aiming to challenge all forms of discrimination and social exclusion.
She is a very public spirited and a very busy lady!
This was the first time that Gerry had been interviewed in BBC Quay House, a modern open plan building in Media City, which has a huge atrium in the centre and also some rather cool looking circular pods in which people can meet!
He explained to Juanita how honoured and privileged he felt to be chosen by the Queen to be the High Sheriff of Greater Manchester and to be the custodian of such an ancient office and that being 'part of history' is very exciting. If that wasn't enough, he is also the first ethnic Chinese High Sheriff, which creates an extra duty and pressure. He can't let the side down!
He described the duties of being High Sheriff and told her about some of the engagements that he and Joanne had enjoyed so far. Every day he is learning more and more about Greater Manchester and its different institutions and
She also asked about Gerry's family crest and how it was designed. He and Joanne went to London to visit Timothy Duke, the Norroy and Ulster King of Arms, to plan it in detail.
It is made up of a goat, symbolising Guangzhou (the 'City of the Goats') where Gerry was born; bauhinia flowers , the symbols of Hong Kong where Joanne was born and to where Gerry's family moved when he was a young child; four bees (bees being symbols of Manchester and four to represent Gerry, Joanne and their two children) and camellia flowers, because Gerry and Joanne's family home is called Camellia House. It also contains dragon fire and includes the colours of the Ching Army Military Flag for the Han People to which the Yeung family historically belongs.
In the past mottos on family crests have traditionally been in English or Latin. Gerry believes that his could be the first ever motto in Chinese. It translates as:
Positive and diligent in all endeavours. Accepting and magnanimous of heart'
She then asked him whether he had any other maxims by which he lives.
As a migrant to UK Gerry has always lived by his goal 'to learn, to understand, to participate in and to enjoy British life'. However, at the Installation of a previous High Sheriff he learned the motto; ' Integrity, humility & generosity' and adopted it as an aspiration that he always tries to live up to.
Juanita was intrigued to find out how Gerry manages to juggle the duties of the High Sheriff with running a busy restaurant! He said that he was lucky to have a good team behind him!
When asked whether there was anything he would like to add, Gerry commented that Eastern Horizon is a programme aimed at second generation British born Chinese and that he would like to encourage them to get involved in their communities, which would not only help to enrich their communities but also enrich their own lives in return.
More essential team work!
29th April 2017
As the High Sheriff and Joanne arrived at Sedgley Park Training Centre for the Greater Manchester Police Cadets Annual Competition 2017, they were honoured to be met by the Chief Constable, Mr Ian Hopkins.
Gerry was in full uniform and asked whether his sword was required for the day. The Chief Constable commented that he believed that the High Sheriff was in a very safe place already, so Gerry left it in the car!
Before the parade, Gerry and Joanne were talking with a number of guests and learned that we have 800 Special Constables in GMP. They are all volunteers and provide a minimum of four hours service per week. They are yet another fine example of community spirit in action in the area. Apparently, many Police Forces in the country come to Greater Manchester to learn more about the success of our Special Constables.
Teams of Cadets from many areas of Greater Manchester, including Oldham, Irlam, Hyde, Trafford, Bolton, Ashton & Blackley, were tested in many different policing skills and prizes were awarded for each category. Prizes were presented by, amongst others, The Chief Constable, The Police Commissioner, Tony Lloyd and the Lord Mayor of Manchester, Councillor Carl Austin-Behan. Gerry was delighted to award the prize for Drill skills.
He congratulated the winning team from Trafford and told everyone that, at the risk of sounding cheesy, they were all winners. Politely, nobody groaned! The winning team received a huge trophy and all the team members were given gold medals. Having presented all the medals to the winners and the runners up, Gerry finally realised that all the bowing from the Cadets wasn't because he was High Sheriff, but because they were all taller than him and it was the only way that he could get the medals over their heads!
After the presentations, Gerry sought out his own Cadets, Shannon Donnelly and Natasha Watkins, who were competing in the team from Oldham, to pass on his personal congratulations.
here to view the Greater Manchester News published in the Summer
edition of The High Sheriff magazine
here to view the Greater Manchester News published in the Winter 2015
edition of The High Sheriff magazine
here to view the Greater Manchester News published in the Summer
edition of The High Sheriff magazine
here to view the Greater Manchester News published in the Summer 2014
edition of The High Sheriff magazine
here to view the Greater Manchester News published in the Summer
edition of The High Sheriff magazine