“MOUSTACHE month” ended across the Province yesterday – and it may have come as a relief to some wives and girlfriends.
After a month of moustache cultivation, Belfast’s formerly clean-shaven first citizen had his own moustache removed yesterday with a cut-throat razor – live on air.
Lord Mayor Gavin Robinson had been taking part in Movember, the annual charity drive which sees men raise cash to combat male cancer by sponsored moustache-growing.
He said: “I’ve never had a moustache before, so it’s a new thing for me.
“An enjoyable experience – I’m not sure if I’ll repeat it again. It’s grown on me more than it’s grown on Lindsay [his wife].”
“Lord Mayor’s Mos”, the name of the moustache-growing council team to which he belongs, had raised £2,539 in sponsorship at the time of writing – around £1,000 of which was collected by Gavin himself.
He said this figure got a huge boost yesterday when the council’s mechanics division, based in Duncrue, presented them with a cheque of £1,480, bringing Lord Mayor’s Mos’ team total to around £4,000.
And during Radio Ulster’s Alan Simpson show yesterday afternoon, his moustache was finally shaved off by a barber – with the host at one point joking: “There’s not as much blood as I thought!”
“It’s been a great opportunity to talk about men’s health and raise awareness around prostate and testicular cancer,” said the Lord Mayor.
“When you explain the presence of a moustache, it’s a great lead-in to tell people why you’re doing it.
“One woman yesterday was telling me her son died, aged 21, of testicular cancer. I know her from going to church.
“I’ve known her for many years. She’d never shared that with me before. You hear a lot of stories because it’s been raised.”
Meanwhile, even young children were donning moustaches.
Campbell College came up with a novel way of letting its pupils, aged four to 18, join in.
Headmaster Robert Robinson said rather than trying to grow moustaches, everyone was encouraged to sport fake ones yesterday, with the school charging them £2 per moustache.
According to the head, about 90 per cent of the school – made up of 1,150 boys and 150 staff – joined in.
However, “not all the female staff were prepared to wear a moustache”, he added. Mr Robinson staged a fire drill to give them the chance to photograph the pupils outside together.
“We had one English teacher pretend to be a sergeant major. He had the boys line up and inspected their moustaches,” he said.
But he added: “I’m quite hairy as I was, so I don’t need a moustache.”
Movember is a registered charity, with the money collected going to two charities: the Institute for Cancer Research and Prostate Cancer UK.