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Greater Manchester

County News


June 2017

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 & Gill Burrows.

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 fascinating history.

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.



Gerry 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!

Tim Crow then walked everyone through the classic streets of Belgravia and across to Buckingham Palace.
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 Royal Family.

The warm air was filled with the glorious sound of a band playing.

At 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.

A parade 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 Palace.

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!
Gerry and 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 Award.

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 Ceremony
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.

The 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 followed.

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 policing."
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.

The 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.

The atmosphere 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.

Andy Burnham's 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.


The 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.

They were 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

Gerry & 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!

Gerry 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!

Gerry 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 Headmistresses' Office.
A great time was had by all!

7th June 2017
High Sheriff's Dinner at the Inner Temple, London

Gerry 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'


During 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.


Gerry 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.
They enjoyed 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.

They 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
a 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.

Inspired 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 element.

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 all round!

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 exchanged.

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!

9th June 2017
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
On a 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.

The Second Prize Winner in the Senior Section was

Blackpool by Tim Holt
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 away!'

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 beyond London!

They were bright young lawyers from a variety of cities in China and specialised in many different areas of law.


Gerry 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.

Gerry told 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.


Gerry 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 Manchester!

Everyone then got to know each other much better over tea and a selection of very delicious cakes!

15th June 2017
Henshaw's 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.

The 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 Manchester.

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.

Henshaws 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.

They 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.

Everyone was also entertained by an excellent guitar group called Biscuit.

There 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 England.



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 plan!

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.

As the 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
Visiting 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 Friday.


Rugby 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


All the 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 so popular!!

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!

After 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.

Some of 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 their confidence.

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 between them.

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.
Andrew 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.

Gerry 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 be celebrated.

21st June 2017

Gerry & Joanne's second Judges' Dinner was held at their home in Heaton Moor.

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.

They 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
Service 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.


Wreaths 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 afterwards.

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 Anglo-Zulu War.

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 Manchester

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 victims.

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 the Community.


His 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 condolences.

27th June 2017
Sixth Form Community Action Celebration Evening at Bolton School

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.

It turned 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.

Some of 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 the awards.

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 dressing.

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 associations etc
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
Youth Mayor 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 Centre.

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.

They were 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 Making ceremony.

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'

The new 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!!

The retiring Youth Mayor and the new Youth Mayor then changed seats.

Some 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.

May 2017

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.

We will 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.
In 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 Cathedral.

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.

Many 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.

In 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 worship
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 few years.
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.

The 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.

15th May 2017

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 of York.

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.

He then 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 rebuild.

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 Broughton House.

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 ward.

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!

17th May 2017
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 daughter, Fiza.

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.
During 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 Centre.

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 Sing Restaurant.

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.


Both 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.

Gerry and 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

The High Sheriff and Joanne had an amazing evening - really enjoyable!

Chinese 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!

The judges were professionals: opera singers, song writers and a lecturer from Royal Northern College of Music. The compères were presenters from Propeller TV and Phoenix TV.

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!

Gerry and 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.
  Mrs 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 Muslim community
  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.
The Mayor 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 Square .

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.

The 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.

It was 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.

'Always remember. 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 into Narnia!

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.

Alderman 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
The Great Manchester Run

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 Manchester Run!

His chosen charities are:

Disabled Living (www.disabledliving.co.uk)
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 (www.re-dish.org)
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 Reddish.

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.

The 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 starting wave!

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


Thank you

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 Manchester Run.

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 it!

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 Euston!

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.
Our 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 countries.

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 regalia.
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 that.

The formal proceedings were followed by a delicious lunch and a karaoke session, both were enjoyed immensely by the guests!

April 2017

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 with...

'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, Kaine.


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 Concertantes.

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 organisations.

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.

Click here to view the Greater Manchester News published in the Summer 2016 edition of The High Sheriff magazine 

Click here to view the Greater Manchester News published in the Winter 2015 edition of The High Sheriff magazine 

Click here to view the Greater Manchester News published in the Summer 2015 edition of The High Sheriff magazine 

Click here to view the Greater Manchester News published in the Summer 2014 edition of The High Sheriff magazine 

Click here to view the Greater Manchester News published in the Summer 2013 edition of The High Sheriff magazine 


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