MP reflects on 'brilliant' Platinum Jubilee celebrations - The Leamington Observer
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19th Aug, 2022

MP reflects on 'brilliant' Platinum Jubilee celebrations

I WANTED to first reflect on a brilliant bank holiday weekend. It was wonderful to be part of the celebrations for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee – a truly historic milestone.

On Friday, the Market Place in Warwick was absolutely buzzing with various bands playing, and it was great to bump into so many familiar faces including Warwick’s Mayor, Richard Edgington.

There was then a good turnout on Saturday for the Right Royal Picnic organised by BID Leamington in the Pump Room Gardens – defying the earlier weather.

Again, there were a great many bands playing including ABBA and Spice Girls tribute acts, but it also featured a fantastic performance by our local contemporary dance company, Motionhouse. A glimpse of the brilliance of its dancers and production – made in Warwick and Leamington.

And that Sunday I was honoured to attend a service in honour of Her Majesty at St Mary’s in Warwick. It was a poignant celebration of her symbolic importance to our nation.

Like many, I too enjoyed the fantastic spectacle and cultural feast for the Platinum Jubilee Party on Saturday night broadcast on TV. It was a fabulous reminder of the rich diversity that we enjoy culturally and the brilliance of the arts and music in this country.

Since I last wrote, my neighbour Jeremy Wright, the MP for Kenilworth and Southam, has been knighted in the Queens honours and I’d like to place on record my congratulations to him.

Last week in Parliament we saw yet another confidence vote brought by Conservative MPs, this time against Prime Minister Boris Johnson. I was encouraged to see that Mr Wright had submitted a letter of no confidence. I respect that.

Last Friday, It was bittersweet to join everyone to celebrate Kate Cliffe’s remarkable tenure as manager of the SYDNI Centre, as she prepares to move on to her new job.

As I discussed with staff, she will be almost impossible to replace because of her kindness, energy, and knowledge of the Sydenham community and south Leamington.

The SYDNI Centre is an indispensable community asset, loved and appreciated by many – and so is Kate herself.

I thanked her for all her amazing work – as a colleague and as a friend. She has touched the lives of many – as the tears in the crowd indicated today.

And last Sunday, it was powerfully moving to be present at the 40th anniversary memorial day parade for those who fell in the Falklands War.

I read a short passage from the Bible which included the line: “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

I met ex-servicemen who spoke fondly of their lost comrades and friends. The cost of war is so great.

Some 255 British and 649 Argentine military personnel and three Falkland islanders died during the war.

I interpreted the Bible text to also mean we must also love each other enough to rid future generations of the scourge of war – and this was echoed by those involved in the service.

 

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