At the beginning of September, the Lord Mayor was present as 47 Midlands teenagers swore allegiance to Queen and country at the largest ever Army enlistment ceremony in Birmingham history. Each new soldier received their enrolment certificate from a beaming Coun Rashid, as dozens of proud parents watched their children take their first step towards a career that could see them posted to the frontlines of Iraq and Afghanistan in just over a year.
Just days later, in Scotland, Coun Rashid was guest of honour at an official tour of the new 7,000-tonne Naval Destroyer HMS Daring. The Lord Mayor was given an opportunity to inspect one of the most powerful naval ships in the world, and even took charge of the bridge controls on the country’s fastest sea-faring vessel (pictured). HMS Daring is affiliated with the second city, and Commanding Officer Captain Paul Bennett was previously in charge of the Naval Destroyer HMS Birmingham -which patrolled The Falklands during the 1980s and The Persian Gulf in the 1990s.
At the end of the month, the Lord Mayor of Birmingham inspected the troops at a special military reception outside Birmingham’s Council House. The Second Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers was granted the Freedom of the City of Birmingham, an occasion marked with a “Freedom Parade” by 250 troops, watched by hundreds of bystanders. On welcoming the troops, Coun Rashid declared: “The City of Birmingham would like to thank the Fusiliers, who were the first regiment in Iraq in 2003, fought the longest battle in Afghanistan, and who had more service in Northern Ireland than any other regiment. Welcome home.”
About The Lord Mayor
Councillor Chauhdry Abdul Rashid hails from the Pakistani province of Azad Kashmir. He moved to Birmingham in 1963, and has been active in the City’s social, cultural and educational development for more than 45 years. As Birmingham’s First Citizen, the Lord Mayor represents the most ethnically-diverse city in Britain, including the largest Muslim community outside London. Further information about The Lord Mayor of Birmingham is available at www.lordmayor.org
Birmingham is the UK’s second largest city, with a population of more than 1.5 million people. Due in part to its inland central location, Birmingham is a major transport hub on the UK’s motorway, rail, and canal networks. The city is often referred to as “The Heart of England”.
Birmingham’s Conservative-led City Council is the largest local authority in the UK, and the largest government council in Europe. The city has made a valuable contribution to Britain’s political, economic and cultural history. Famous residents have included Neville Chamberlain (former Prime Minister), JRR Tolkien (author of Lord of The Rings), WH Auden (poet), Barbara Cartland (novelist), Tony Hancock (comedian) and Arthur Conan Doyle (creator of Sherlock Holmes).