WISBECH’S new Mayor and deputy have made history, as it is believed to be the first time there has been an all-female team at the top.
Cllr Vivien MacRae took the reins as Mayor of Wisbech from Cllr Jonathan Farmer at the annual Mayor-making ceremony in the council chamber on Friday.
Cllr Samantha Hoy was elected as deputy mayor, making her the youngest to sit at the Mayor’s right hand in recent years. At the age of 25, she does not believe she is the youngest deputy Mayor, but thinks she might be the youngest female deputy in the council’s long history.
Cllr Carol Cox officially nominated Mrs MacRae for the role and during a short speech spoke warmly of her friend, who is married to Gary MacRae and mum to grown-up children Ben and Mark.
Mrs Cox told the gathered guests, including Fenland District Council leader Michael Humphrey, about the many community groups Mrs MacRae has been a part of and her passion for volunteering.
This theme was picked up by Mrs MacRae in her first speech as Mayor.
She said: “During my term of office, I hope to encourage more people to take an active role in the community. It is a valued contribution anyone can make by volunteering their time for free and offering their expertise.
“Wisbech wouldn’t be the town it is today if not for volunteers.”
Mrs MacRae’s speech was very emotional and at times she was close to tears. She spoke of her grandfather, Walter Nicholson, who was a member of the town council but never made it to the position of Mayor.
“If he could see me now, I’m sure he would be very proud,” she said.
Mrs MacRae also talked about the loss of former Mayor Cllr Roger Green and said it would be a “great honour” to present the Roger Green Young Sports Personality of the Year Award to its first recipient.
Mr Farmer, when speaking about his time as Mayor, mentioned Mr Green as well and said he was “greatly missed”.
Mr Farmer said that his second term as Mayor was as enjoyable as the first and he and his wife Susanah had visited many places and groups in their efforts to promote Wisbech.