Councillors from across Stafford Borough paid tribute to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II at a meeting last night (Tuesday).
It was the first meeting of the council since the passing of Her Majesty, The Queen last week.
Members of the council wore black armbands or black rosettes as a mark of respect with Councillor Patrick Farrington leading the tributes to “an extraordinary human being who brought great warmth to millions, commanded respect and affection from all.”
Deputy Mayor of the Borough, Councillor Peter Jones, asked for two minutes silence before the meeting got underway.
And before the proposed items on the agenda were discussed, Councillor Farrington said he had written to King Charles III Private Secretary on behalf of the borough to express sadness at the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
He said: “It does not feel like hyperbole to state that the last few days have seemed eerily strange; empty somehow. When I look back on world events that have happened during my lifetime, there are very few indeed where I can recall exactly where I was and what I was doing at the time.
“The public announcement of Her Majesty’s passing was one of those rare moments which will remain with me forever, as no doubt it will also resonate with many of you.”
He told Members that he had seen the Queen on three occasions - including as a schoolboy during the 1977 Jubilee celebrations and when she visited Stafford in 2006 to mark the 800th anniversary of the granting of The Royal Charter.
Councillor Farrington continued: “She was an extraordinary human being who brought great warmth to millions, commanded respect and affection from all. An ambassador like no other and clearly, a sense of public service carried out with humour and dignity.
“We witness a moment in history, which will fill the study books of our own families for generations to come. I am a Royalist, supporter of the Monarchy and very proud to say so and notwithstanding the great sadness, swear allegiance to our new King, who let us not forget, is grieving for the loss of his mother.”
Councillor Ralph Cooke, Deputy Leader of the Labour Group on the council said he was not a ‘natural monarchist’ but “admired the values that Queen Elizabeth II held so dear.”
“She was devoted to her family, and also palpably so, to this country and our best interests.”
And leader of the Borough Independents, Rob Kenney, added that Queen Elizabeth II was devoted and loyal and would ‘always be remembered.’
A number of other councillors paid tribute to her Majesty during the 20-minute session and included several proclamations of "God Save the King."
Following the tributes, the meeting returned to council business which included asking Members to consider several changes to where people can vote at future elections so the local authority could avoid using schools as polling stations.
Stafford Borough Council is flying the union flag at half-mast during the period of mourning at the Civic Centre, Victoria Park, and Stonefield Park in Stone.
A service to commemorate the life of Her Majesty, The Queen, is taking place at 12.30pm this Sunday at St Mary’s Church in Stafford.
More details can be found from www.staffordbc.gov.uk
Press Release No 5947