The borough welcomed our new Mayor as former soldier Councillor Ian Duckworth was sworn-in during a ceremony at Rochdale Town Hall last night.
The evening was attended by former mayors and distinguished guests as the departing Mayor, Councillor Ray Dutton, handed over the chain of office to Councillor Duckworth.
Councillor Ashley Dearnley formally welcomed the election, seconded by Councillor Neil Emmott. After receiving the chain the new Mayor said words of thanks, before Council Leader Richard Farnell, Councillor Emmott and Councillor Wardle thanked the outgoing Mayor and Mayoress for their services over the last year.
The retiring Mayoress, Elaine Dutton, assisted by the Mayor's Attendant, placed the Mayoress' Chain on Mrs Christine Duckworth.
Councillor Ian Duckworth was born and brought up in Rochdale. He attended Lowerplace Primary School and Kingsway High School. He became a time served painter and decorator and later trained as a barber. Tiring of ladders and haircuts he fulfilled a lifelong ambition and joined the army, serving in the Royal Corps of Signals. He completed a 5 year tour of duty in the British Army of the Rhine, meeting his future wife Christine whilst on leave. They married in 1979 and she accompanied Ian on his travel from that time forward. In 1982 they were posted to the permanent staff of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst for 3 years, during which time their 2 daughters Elizabeth and Catherine were born. On promotion to sergeant in 1986 Ian was transferred to Lisburn for a 2 and a half year tour of Northern Ireland. Retiring from the army in 1988 Ian returned to Rochdale working in warehousing and logistics, finishing his career as a manager at Littlewoods National Distribution Centre. In 1992, Ian successfully stood for election in Balderstone. He served this ward for a total of 8 years, transferring to Bamford ward in 2004 due to boundary changes. He has represented this ward for the past 9 years.
'We are determined to work tirelessly as ambassadors for local residents'
The new Mayor said he was delighted to be selected:
"I would like to thank the outgoing Mayor and Mayoress Ray and Elaine Dutton for their help, advice and friendship during the last year. They have been a credit to the borough and will be a hard act to follow. We are determined to work tirelessly as ambassadors for local residents and our chosen local charities and will do our very best to represent this superb borough."
The Mayoress will be his wife Mrs Christine Duckworth. Prior to retirement she was Head Teacher at Saint Mary's C of E Primary School, Balderstone.
The Deputy Mayor will be Councillor Mohammed Zaman and the Deputy Mayoress his daughter, Naaira Zaman.
The retiring Mayor Councillor Ray Dutton said:
"I am so proud to have met so many wonderfully talented children and staff who showed us the utmost respect and courtesy. From the small charity fetes, community centres and projects to town hall events and the Buckingham Palace garden party. We have loved them all, but most of all, the smiles you can put on people's faces when visiting them."
Musical entertainment was provided by Rochdale Music Service, Piper Stuart Hay, Ellie Goddard, Saddleworth Male Voice Choir and The Carers' Choir.
The Mayor's Charity Appeal for 2017-18 will be raising funds for Springhill Hospice, Rochdale Connections Trust, Rochdale Shopmobility, Cancer Research and Rochdale Heartbeat.
View photo gallery from the ceremony on Facebook.
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Mayor, past Mayors and the Mayors charities.