“Weymouth has elected a Mayor since 1615 and on the move to a unitary authority, our historic Borough must not lose its unique identity,” Alderman Andy Hutchings told the annual dinner of Honorary Court Highclere No. 1 Weymouth of the Ancient Order of Foresters. Proposing the traditional toast to the civic authority, in the presence of the Mayor of Weymouth, Alderman Hutchings said: “We have a marvellous Borough here, I have lived in Weymouth all my life, serving 24 years on the Borough Council. My hope is that when Weymouth Borough Council arrives in 2019, the historic and important office of Mayor will continue.”
Councillor John Dean, currently Mayor of Chickerell, warmly welcomed Councillor Kevin Brookes, Mayor of Weymouth & Portland, together with Mayoress Anne Brookes. Last month, Councillor Dean was elected the 127thChief Ranger [President] of the Court, which has met four times a year in Weymouth since its foundation 130 years ago in October 1887.
“I do thank the many volunteers who operate throughout Weymouth- they make our town what it is,” Councillor Kevin Brookes, Mayor of Weymouth & Portland, told the annual gathering at Weymouth Golf Club. “Without organisations like the Foresters, Weymouth would be much poorer.” The Mayor explained that it was 30 years since any one party had control of the council, so councillors “have to co-operate with each other and get on with it. We are entering a period of change and I support the creation of a town council, because we will need something that will work for the benefit of the town. There is still a lot of work to do.”
The Mayoress and the Chief Ranger’s wife Gillian were presented with floral bouquets. A total of £190 was raised from the raffle for Read Easy, the Chief Ranger’s charity for the year, which teaches adults to read.. Councillor Dean presented a cheque from the Foresters for the Mayor’s Christmas Fund.
Honorary Court Highclere No. 1 Weymouth of the Ancient Order of Foresters met at the Guildhall from 1887 and from 1974 at the Council Offices. In 2012, the Court moved to the Grade II listed Pilgrim House in Hope Square, owned by Weymouth Rotary Club.
The Honorary Court is today an altruistic organisation that raises funds for local charities. New members are welcome and enquiries about joining the Honorary Court should be made to Secretary Munro Ross at 01305 784320.
Note that unlike many courts of the Ancient Order of Foresters, Honorary Court Highclere No. 1 Weymouth, does not sell or deal in insurance.
Councillor Kevin Brookes [second right,] Mayor of Weymouth & Portland, is welcomed by Councillor John Dean, Mayor of Chickerell and Chief Ranger of Honorary Court Highclere No. 1 Weymouth of the Ancient Order of Foresters, together with Mayoress Anne Brookes [left] and Gillian Dean [right.] Photograph by Michel Hooper-Immins.