THE NEW Mayor of Enfield was appointed last night in a special ceremony at Enfield Civic Centre.
Labour Councillor Christiana During, who represents Upper Edmonton, was appointed in an event called the Mayor Making, and replaced former Mayor Councillor Jayne Buckland, who has served in the office for the last year.
Cllr During was praised by both the Labour and Conservative groups, with Conservative group leader Michael Lavender saying he was “genuinely delighted” at the choice, which also saw fellow Upper Edmonton Councillor Kate Anolue made Deputy Mayor.
Fighting back tears, Cllr During said: “I would like to thank you for showing your interest and support by being here.
“We have a great, vibrant and diverse borough in Enfield, and I will serve the Borough of Enfield with enthusaism and devotion.”
Cllr During pledged to carry out her duties as Mayor and was dressed in formal red robes before being handed the ceremonial mayoral chains by Cllr Buckland.
The mother-of-three becomes the first female black African Mayor of the borough – born in the former British colony of Sierra Leone, she moved to the UK in 1962 to take an NHS course in midwifery and nursing at The Whittington Hospital.
She said of her upbringing: “I went through the best education that was available at a school that taught the same subjects that were taught in Britain.
“This gave me an opportunity to learn about the role of the Mayor – little did I know that I would one day be a Mayor and put on these red robes that I admired as a child in Africa.
“My childhood experience has become a reality.”
The Mayor said her charity focus for the year would be on the health of the people of Enfield, which follows her experiences in nursing and as assistant director of nursing.
She added: “I pledge to work will all the communities to give everyone the best quality of life.”
The position of Mayor is a mostly ceremonial position that holds little power – but it is seen as a ceremonial distinction on a serving councillor that is respected by all parties.
For the next year, Cllr During will devote most of her time to civic functions and will preside over full council meetings, as well as acting as the returning officer at elections.