|RUYC at Clifton Road, Bangor|
I was Guest Speaker at Royal Ulster Yacht Club’s prestigious Annual Dinner on Saturday 23 November 2013. Speaking from a few notes I used the opportunity to outline his interest in sport, sailing experience so far during his Mayoral year and positive agenda for change as Mayor under the theme “Working as One”.
I was delighted and honoured to be invited to speak to this prestigious Annual Dinner engaging with many members of the club who I have got to know since becoming Mayor in June. With 845 members, Royal Ulster Yacht Club is a substantial organisation positively contributing to the life of North Down by keeping the historic club house active and in a good state, making the place attractive to tourists plus potential residents and businesses whilst also promoting active living.
As someone fascinated with the open water I was delighted to be given the opportunity to sail on Enigma with RUYC earlier this year and whilst beaten in the face of stiff competition I look forward to taking to the sea in 2014. Mixing Sailing and Politics isn’t unique with at least one former politician known for such, namely Edward Heath who won Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race in 1969 and Admiral’s Cup whilst Prime Minister in 1971. I therefore used the opportunity to speak a bit about Edward Heath and my affiliation with some of his views, especially his pro-European outlook.
As Mayor I am seeking to deliver change under the “Working as One” banner, promoting good Community Relations, Active Living plus Creative Industries and Skills through practical actions. I was therefore grateful for the opportunity to talk about my inclusive Mayoral Agenda and recall why I didn’t consider a career in the Diplomatic Service after finishing my Peace and Conflict Studies Degree when Edward Heath stated “A diplomat is a man who thinks twice before he says nothing.