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Dec 23 2011

Councillor Bill Stephenson’s Leaders Blog – December 23, 2011

I celebrated two festivals this week. On Monday I went to the staff-organised carol concert celebrating Christmas and the Christian tradition. We lustily sang all the well known carols and were supported by a superb brass band from Harrow Young Musicians. There was a moving nativity play by children from Elmgrove Baptist Church, part of a very warm and happy occasion.
On Tuesday I attended a special celebration of Hanukkah in the Mayor’s parlour. Over 50 people attended the lighting of the candles in the Menorah on the first day of the festival of lights. The Menorah was donated by former Mayor and councillor Janet Cowan who passed away in 2007. This year sadly we were also mourning the death of Janet’s husband former Mayor and Councillor, John Cowan. Their two sons Richard and Martin, and their children, lit the candles.

It was both a moving occasion but also an uplifting one.

The meaning of Hanukkah is rooted in the Hebrew word for education and is a festival of lights not unlike Diwali in spirit. It was wonderful once again to see the involvement of young people as well the attendance of people from many different faiths in our wonderfully diverse borough.

Can I take this opportunity to wish all readers of this blog and all Harrow residents both seasonal greetings and in my tradition ‘A merry Christmas and Happy New Year’ as well, of course, as Happy Hanukkah.

Bill Stephenson, Leader – Harrow Council

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