A City councillor has described being appointed Lord Mayor of Birmingham as one of the most special events of his life.
Father-of-five Shafique Shah, who has represented Bordesley Green since 2005, accepted the chain of office at the city council’s annual meeting.
The businessman said: “This is one of the most special moments of my life and also one of the most nerve-wracking. The nerve wracking I should be used to, after all I am a Blues supporter.”
The Labour councillor was joined by his wife of almost 20 years Sadia Shafique, who becomes Lady Mayoress, their five children Salhia, Hasan, Saman, Sanya and Muhmmad, and other close family members for the ceremony.
Well travelled, he said: “I have, as yet, not found any city as welcoming and warm as my home of Birmingham. I always feel proud to say I am a Brummie. I will work hard as an ambassador for our great city to show the world all the positive aspects Birmingham and its citizens have to offer.”
One of his first duties was to announce the four charities he will be supporting throughout the year: The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham Children’s Hospital, Digbeth based SIFA Fireside, which works to tackle homelessness and alcohol dependency, and sight loss charity Birmingham Focus.
Coun Shah said: “I will work with them to raise awareness of their causes.
“What I am looking forward to is the opportunity to meet as many regular, hard-working citizens of the city that time will allow.
He is chairman of governors at Bordesley Green Girls School and has previously campaigned to increase the number of school places in the area. He announced that he wants to support young people. “I intend to accept as many invitations as I can to visit city schools and meet the young people that will be the future leaders of our city.”
Raised in Bordesley Green, he attended Sir Wilfred Martineau School, then later graduated in mechanical and manufacturing engineering. He worked as a manager for a telecommunications company for a few years before going into business with his family – including running a mobile phone shop.
Conservative deputy leader Randal Brew said: “We always wondered what a well-presented, clean cut, sharp suited entrepreneurial young man was doing on the Labour benches with the socialists.”
One of their first public appearances is the Lord Mayor’s Show in Victoria Square on Saturday, June 14 from noon until 6pm.
As well as enjoying stalls and amusements people can take tea with the Lord Mayor in the Council House between 2pm and 4pm.
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