A reflection on a second "special" year as Havering Mayor
PUBLISHED: 10:00 21 May 2016
As he steps down from the role of Havering Mayor, Cllr Brian Eagling said it's the people he has met that have made it a "special year" for him.
A Havering boy, Brian said it is extra special to be Havering’s first citizen for a second time in a year that has “gone so quickly”.
He said: “There have been so many things that have happened and I have enjoyed.
“Sat in a boat for four hours down the River Thames was a memorable day as sitting in a tight space for that length of time was not easy, especially when you’re so close to the water and not a great swimmer!”
But in a jam-packed year of events, Brian said meeting and speaking to the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh was the highlight.
He said: “I was at an event in Barking to celebrate the borough being 50-years-old with the other mayors of London.
“I happened to be given a badge and at the end of the dinner, the Queens spoke to me as we were all lined up.
“That was a very special day and absolutely super – it was such an honour as Mayor of Havering.”
After being mayor in 2000, Brian had an idea of what he was letting himself in for when it came to chairing council meetings.
He made sure all councillors were aware of his football-style supervision.
He said: “I know council meetings can become a bit hectic so when I first come in this time, I told every councillor I am going to use the same methods as the FA.
“I told them ‘you get a yellow card and then a red card, if you get a red one then you are out the door’, but thankfully I have never had to use one to this day.”
This year, Brian has concentrated his charity efforts on raising money for First Step - a charity which supports youngsters with special needs and disabilities and the special care baby unit at Queen’s Hospital, Romford.
The mayor says he has “smashed” a target of £25,000.
Moving forward, Cllr Eagling said: “I will continue my normal councillor responsibilities and responding to anyone who needs help in my ward. But I will have a little rest now and recharge the batteries.
“I am also looking forward to a little holiday as I have not had one for the last year as Mayor but once I’m back I want to start raising money for children with disabilities. I would like to thank everyone who has helped me this year.”