Outgoing Mayor, Alderman Fraser Agnew, has fondly recalled his ‘memorable’ year as the borough’s first citizen.
Speaking at the council AGM on June 2, he told fellow councillors and council staff: “I have had a wonderful year in office. I want to thank all of you for your help and support.”
Thanking his PA Karen Jones, driver Abe and council Chief Executive Jacqui Dixon, he added: “Out there is a marvellous community. I see tremendous things going on in that community right across the board - all classes and creeds all doing wonderful things. I have enjoyed meeting those people and seeing the work that is done, and I want to thank those people as well for the work that they are doing in communities across the borough.”
Alderman Agnew said that personal highlights of his year in office, which involved more than 800 engagements, included the performance by the Royal Irish Regiment Band at his inaugural dinner and the opening of the replica First World War trench and educational resource at Mossley Mill, which, he said, will be “a lasting memorial” to those 300 men from Newtownabbey who lost their lives in the Great War.
Tributes were paid to Alderman Agnew by all political parties in the chamber.
The DUP’s Victor Robinson said that Mr Agnew embodied the qualities needed to be a good mayor in abundance, including integrity, honesty, being hard working, conscientious, respect for the office, colleagues and guests and courtesy towards staff.
The UUP’s John Scott congratulated Mr Agnew on his achievements and said he was a credit to the council and the UUP. Alliance Councillor Billy Webb commented that Alderman Agnew had had the support of ‘two good women’ during his time as Mayor-Lady Mayoress Mrs Lila Agnew and Deputy Mayor Dineen Walker.
Sinn Fein’s Gerry O’Reilly praised Mr Agnew for being open for advice and guidance, while the SDLP’s Noreen McClelland noted that £10,000 had been raised for the Mayor’s charities during his term of office.
Presenting the past Mayor’s medal, new Mayor Thomas Hogg said Mr Agnew had carried out his duties with distinction and great sincerity.