NI mayor brings splash of colour to tenure with tie collection
During the coronavirus pandemic, when many of us ditched formal attire in favour of loungewear, one NI mayor was adding to his impressive tie collection.
Causeway Coast and Glens’ first citizen Mark Fielding marked the end of his term with a presentation to Alzheimer’s Society. As always, he wore an aptly coloured tie to mark the occasion.
The Portstewart man said: “I suppose it became my trademark over the past year. If I was attending an engagement or supporting a specific cause I always tried to wear a tie which matched in with the occasion or cause.
“For Alzheimer’s Society I picked a dark navy. In the past, I have worn green for Macmillan, purple for council initiatives, and blue for autism awareness.
“It’s just something that I started at the beginning of the term and kept going throughout the year.”
He said: “I haven’t counted them but I’d said there’s over a hundred. I would have had most of them before I was mayor but I did buy ones during the mayoral term when certain things were coming up.
“If I can get the right colour I’ll go plain but if there’s a tie with a design on it I’ll get that, for example when I was giving out the silver poppies I got a poppy tie or when I was planting trees for the centenary I had a Northern Ireland centenary tie.”
Mark’s 12-months as mayor were very different from any other tenure: “I enjoyed being mayor, even with Covid. You had to come up with initiatives, things to do. It was all outside, you couldn’t have receptions.
“I took the role very seriously. I think people think that the mayor should be dressed appropriately.
“If an organisation is good enough to ask you to come along to an event, the tie is my way of showing I’ve taken an interest.”
Mark has been on Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council for 10 years, and having ended his tenure as mayor he will go back to his role as councillor for the Causeway electoral district which includes Portrush, Portstewart and Bushmills.
Having presented nearly £4,000 to the Alzheimer’s Society he said: “I want to thank each person who contributed to our final total which I am immensely proud of.
“I was inspired by my father in choosing Alzheimer’s Society as my official charity as he developed dementia in his later life.
“Across the borough, many families are caring for loved ones living with this condition and the Alzheimer’s Society is an important source of support for them.
“Handing over this money to the charity is a highlight of my term and it’s been an honour for me to have been their ambassador over the past year.”
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