Former Swansea mayors honoured for dedicated service
BEING Lord Mayor doesn't just involve wearing that eye- catching jewellery — the role comes with a bursting diary of places to be and people to meet, in representing the city at home and abroad.
And seven former keepers of the office will gather this week to be honoured for the things they achieved during their tenure.
The gathering of mayors — should that be a chain of mayors — will bring together Mair Gibbs, David I. E. Jones, Alan Lloyd, Bob Lloyd, Grenville Phillips, Margaret Smith and Susan Waller Thomas, be named Honorary Alderman at a ceremonial meeting of the council on Thursday.
One of the group, Mr Phillips, who was the Lord Mayor of Swansea City Council from 1995 to 1996, says the most important part of the role as far as he is concerned is that it gave him the chance to meet people he otherwise wouldn't have come across, which broadened his perspective as a councillor.
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"It is hard work because there are a lot of commitments and there is always somewhere you have to be, but it does give you the opportunity to meet all kinds of people from all walks of life.
"I was fortunate enough, during my time as mayor to give the Freedom of The City to the former president of the United States, Jimmy Carter and to the then mayor of the city of Manheim, our twin city."
But it is a less lofty event which give Grenville his favourite memories of the mayoral post.
"The thing I am most proud of its that I live in Portmead and Blaenymaes and I was able to organise a tea party for children from both of the primary schools there, on the lawn at the Mansion House.
"It was a good day and I think it is so important the children get the chance to see the Mansion House and to understand what the mayor is about."
The title of Honorary Alderman is bestowed upon former councillors who have served the authority or predecessor authorities with distinction over the years and there are currently 10 living Honorary Aldermen in the city.
They are allowed to attend certain civic ceremonies but they don't receive allowances or payments.
Dennis James, the current Lord Mayor of Swansea said: "I want to pay tribute to the work of our city's former lord mayors and the inspirational job they have done for Swansea.
"Their dedication and hard work as ambassadors for our city, their fundraising efforts and their contribution to the life of Swansea for many years as ward members thoroughly deserves recognition."
Mr Phillips was the last Lord Mayor of Swansea City Council from 1995 to 1996 as reorganisation created the unitary authority of the City and County of Swansea.
They special ceremonial meeting begins at 4pm.