It’s the year which will never be forgotten, the year which has touched every generation in some way. The impact of loss and grief in families, communities, the city, country and world will take years of healing and recovery. Like so many others I went in to the very first lock down feeling relatively optimistic, we were even talking about a September recovery, back to ‘normal’. How wrong we were.
Being Lord Mayor is a sociable role and along with a ceremonial element, the vast majority of my work is visiting and meeting people from across the City on a daily basis. In what became a virtual world, I had to become a virtual First Citizen – I was determined nothing would stop me representing Bristol and those I’d been elected to represent. Zoom became my best friend as we reached out to communities and organisations, hearing first-hand the challenges and struggles people were battling. There were incredible stories of resilience and community spirit too and it’s an absolute joy to see these highlighted and recognised through the recipients of this year’s Lord Mayor’s Medals. Being virtual didn’t prevent us from marking the usual national commemorations either and all continued to be marked with respect and dignity.
Like so many I’ve been personally affected by the pandemic, but I feel positive about our recovery. The longer days, sunny daffodils and birdsong undoubtedly lift the spirits, but the sheer resilience of humankind brings abundant hope. And as hope grows, our time to heal will follow.
Lord Mayor of Bristol, Jos Clark