It was party politics of a different kind last Monday night as Banbridge District Council celebrated its 40th anniversary in style.
A special reception was held for all of the councillors and Chief Executives who have served on the Council during the past 40 years.
It was hosted by current Council Chairman, Councillor Olive Mercer, who welcomed guests to the Civic Building to reminisce about Council achievements in years gone by, discuss current matters and to look to the future with Local Government Reform on the horizon.
It was timely, said Councillor Mercer, that the Council should mark it’s 40th year given that the formation of the supercouncils is just around the corner.
“As D-Day for the Council is fast approaching with the amalgamation of local authorities in 2015 this is the last anniversary of significance in the life of our great organisation and I was delighted to see so many of our former Councillors and our two former Chief Executives able to join with us to mark this milestone in the life of Banbridge District Council,” she said.
“Indeed it is great that the Council’s first ever Chairman, Mr Will Davidson, and our first ever Chief Executive, or Town Clerk as he was called in those days, Mr Bertie Weatherall, were able to join us for this special occasion.
“Times at Banbridge District Council have changed significantly over the past 40 years and it was wonderful to meet both old friends and new and to catch up on stories of life in the Council over the past four decades.”
Although only a relative newcomer herself to Council life, Councillor Mercer said that she has seen first hand the hard work that her colleagues put in to make the district a better place.
“I myself have only served on the Council since 2011 but in that very short time it has been very clear to me that the Council has a dedicated team of both Councillors and employees all working extremely hard for the good of the community as a whole.
“I’m confident this dedication will continue to ensure that the Banbridge District is in the best possible position and ready for our amalgamation with Armagh and Craigavon Councils in 2015.
“I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute and thank everyone who has worked so tirelessly over the past 40 years to make the Banbridge District the wonderful place which it is today.”