BRIAN Griffin is a very proud and humble town Mayor.
As he handed his chains over this week, he said the year had been one of the best in his life, describing it as the ‘jewel in his crown’.
Cllr Griffin said he aimed to make the most of every single second of his year in office, continually telling me that he was honoured, privileged and eternally grateful for the opportunity that had been given to him.
“There’s never been a year like it really,” he said. “It’s been a jewel in my crown.
“I think you get out of something what you put into it, and if you asked me if I could have done any more I would have said no,” he said.
Cllr Griffin said he had carried out his year as Mayor ‘with passion’ and talked about how much he cared for the town where he was born and bred.
The 72-year-old, who lives in Chewton Street, was the first town Mayor in several years to take it upon himself to visit Szolnok, Eastwood’s twin town in Hungary, and said it was the highlight of his year.
On Monday of this week, he handed the Mayoral chains over to Ken Woodhead in the town council’s annual general meeting.
Leader of the council David Bagshaw paid tribute to the out-going Mayor, saying he had carried out his duties in ‘exemplary fashion’.
Cllr Griffin was involved in all of the usual engagements as town Mayor – presenting cheques to charities, visiting couples celebrating their golden wedding anniversary and opening events, such as the Eastwood Arts Festival.
But one of the things he enjoyed most was visiting schools and meeting ambitious pupils, such as those involved in the town’s Supporting Action for Eastwood (SAFE) shop in Nottingham Road.
“I think there’s a positive future for our town with these kids,” he said. “There’s a lot of talent out there.
“And credit goes to the teaching staff in our town as well, because there are some great teachers.”
Cllr Griffin chose the Samantha Dixon Brain Tumour Trust and the Cleft Lip and Palate Association as his two chosen charities for the year and raised £2,782 to be split between them both.
The money was raised from various fundraising events throughout the year, including the Mayor’s annual charity ball, and a charity curry night hosted by the manager of Indian restaurant Bombay Spice .
He chose the Samantha Dixon Trust because his wife Jan died of a brain tumour, and he chose CLAPA because he has a friend whose child was born with a severe cleft lip and palate.
Cllr Griffin, re-elected onto the town council at this month’s parish elections, said most importantly he wanted to say thank you to everybody.
“I want to thank the people of Eastwood for receiving me and being so warm and inviting,” he said.