DUP councillor George Duddy took centre stage at last Tuesday night’s final Annual General Meeting of Coleraine Borough Council.
History was made as the DUP man took over the chain of office becoming the last ever Mayor of the Borough of Coleraine.
From next May, Coleraine Borough Council will be part of the new Causeway Coast and Glens District Council merging with Limavady, Ballymoney and Moyle to become a new ‘super council’.
In his acceptance speech the father of two, looked back on his journey as a boy from Nelson Drive in Londonderry to becoming Mayor of Coleraine.
He told those present that he now called Coleraine his home.
Addressing alderman and councillors, Mayor Duddy said: “As we all are only to aware, this council has been operating in very challenging economic times. There are more challenging times ahead for Coleraine following the council mergers.
“As we enter the last nine months of this council it must be with a continued sense of purpose.
“We must continue moving forward and capitalising on new opportunities and ensure the many projects that are in the pipeline are finished either now or during the Causeway Councils tenure.
“Coleraine has been an administrative centre for hundreds of years and we must do all in our power to ensure Coleraine continues as the administrative centre for the new Causeway Council.
“I want to focus this year on young people who are the future of the Borough.
“They are also going to be facing significant changes themselves in the immediate future with the amalgamation of schools and the possible closure of others. There is an immense pressure on young people today some of which we do not recognise and the figures of tragedy associated with that are startling. “
Mayor Duddy selected Diabetes UK as his chosen charity for the year in memory of his father, who lived with the condition. Alliance councillor Yvonne Boyle will be the Deputy Mayor.