LONDON: A Sikh named Prabhjit Singh Dhillon has been elected mayor of the British city of Warwick – the county town of Warwickshire in the Midlands.
Dhillon, who was sworn as the 280th mayor of the city on Friday, said, “I am truly honoured and humbled to be elected by my fellow councillors to become mayor for 2013-2014.
“I have become the 280th mayor, a privilege for a local Warwick boy and first Sikh since that time. My mayoral year is a mere blip in the last 1100 years of former mayors in this historic town.
“I liken my year to the Olympic torch bearers of last year, in that I am picking up the torch of history from the outgoing mayor and carrying it forward, passing it on to the next mayor in a year’s time.
“This year’s theme is about celebrating our town’s rich treasure trove and building a greater sense of community.”
After his swearing-in, Dhillon and his council colleagues observed a minute’s silence to honour the memory of the slain British soldier Lee Rigby who was killed by two Islamic fatatics in London last week.
Touting what he called Warwickness, the new mayor said he would have all-inclusive approach to his mayoralty.
“Warwickness to me stands for, in broad terms, equality, peace, simplicity, truth and integrity. Focusing on equality, where everybody is equal, it is about respecting different people and different ideas, honouring all faiths, celebrating a rich community made up of many cultures, reflecting a broad inclusive spectrum of the global family,’’ Dhillon said.
He added, “`As part of this I am going to include Sikh philosophy, which has similarities to the Christian teachings.’’