ANTRIM Borough Council made history this week following the election of its first female Mayor
DUP councillor Pam Lewis becomes the first woman to take up the reins of office as the borough’s first citizen.
Cllr. Lewis was elected into the post at Thursday’s annual general meeting of Antrim Council.
DUP colleague Trevor Clarke nominated her for the position, which was seconded by the UUP’s Mervyn Rea.
No other nominees were put forward and Cllr. Lewis was duly elected to the post.
Donning the mayoral chains and taking over the chairing of the AGM from out-going Mayor, Cllr. Adrian Watson, Cllr. Lewis joked: “I didn’t think it would be that easy.”
In her first business as Mayor, Cllr. Lewis said it was a great privilege to have been elected as Mayor of Antrim.
“When I was elected to council in 2005, I never thought that I would become Mayor,” Cllr. Lewis said.
She paid tribute to the out-going Mayor, Cllr. Watson, and Deputy Mayor Alan Lawther - who was later re-elected as Deputy Mayor - and said she hoped to continue in the same manner.
“I would pay tribute to the efficient way they carried out their duties in the past year and hope to represent this council in the same way,” Cllr. Lewis said.
She added that the borough, along with the rest of Northern Ireland was facing difficult economic times but added that she had the confidence that through “hard work and determination, we can give to this borough the leadership it deservces”.
Alderman Mervyn Rea was first to congratulate Cllr. Lewis in her new role as Mayor, saying that as the first female to become Mayor of Antrim, it was “great for the borough”.
Out-going Mayor, Cllr. Watson added his congratulations adding that it was somewhat a moment of “girl power”.
Similar sentiments of congratulations came from across the chamber with group leaders from the DUP, Alliance, SDLP, Sinn Fein and TUV voicing their congratulations.
There was some confusion over Cllr. Lewis’ title of Mayor with councillors pondering how to refer to her, with some wondering if should be Mayoress.
Chief Executive David McCammick said that the correct term was Mayor.
More news from the AGM on Page 4.