This week, Patricia and I, along with members of the pastoral team in First Portadown, were invited to the Civic Centre in Craigavon to have lunch with the mayor, Alderman Sydney Anderson, and his wife, Brenda. It was an absolutely delightful occasion. The mayor received us very warmly and entertained us to a beautiful lunch. Patricia said it was one of the nicest pavlovas she had ever tasted, and that was high recommendation as she is a bit of a connoisseur in that department. I opted for the apple tart, but only after filling up on some absolutely wonderful potato wedges. Margaret, the in-house chef at the Civic Centre, certainly knows her job and does it well.
We were all impressed how well Mr Mayor had done his homework on the work and ministry of our congregation. He was most generous in his praise, as he offered sincere congratulations on the moderatorial nomination. We counted ourselves greatly honoured to be received so royally. A tour of the refurbished Civic Centre gave us an insight into the work of our local council and a greater appreciation for the commitment of our local representatives. The council faces many difficult decisions and it needs our support and prayers as it seeks to serve the needs of everyone in our community. The Review of Public Administration will bring many changes to local government, and we trust that the excellent facilities of our Civic Centre will be well used in any new arrangements.
Our vertically-challenged caretaker, Cecil, was with us. Is there anybody in Craigavon or Portadown that he doesn’t know? Everywhere we went at the Civic Centre he greeted people as long-lost friends, and brought laughter and fun to all the proceedings. It was a most enjoyable visit. Thank you, Mr Mayor!