The May 2020 issue of the Carham Parish Council newsletter featured a piece written especially for it by the High Sheriff of Northumberland, Tom Fairfax of Mindrum. In case you missed it, here is what he had to say:
“High Sheriffs in Nomination are always told that our job-spec is a blank canvas! This is truer than ever this year as much of the job traditionally involves face to face engagement – something which is not currently an option under current rules! As a result, I have spent some time with a hot towel over my head to establish new ways to serve my term in as effective a manner as possible. Against expectations, the current conditions have actually been liberating … having listened in awe to the exploits of many of my predecessors – a number of whom are from this parish – it became clear that everything and anything is possible.
“The role of High Sheriff is not really about uniforms and swords; it is about finding amazing people who are doing incredible things. The exciting thing is that these incredible things are happening all around us. Whilst the current conditions have made direct contact with people challenging, they have provided perfect conditions for people to step forward and be exceptional. We are surrounded by brilliant folk who are quietly doing the jobs that are in front of them, and who are stepping forward to add value.
“This year we commemorate the 75th anniversary of both VE Day and VJ Day, which mark, respectively, the end of the Second World War in the European and Far East theatres. Some will remember those days, but most of us can only imagine what it must have been like. It is, perhaps, ironic that we commemorate the end of one global crisis whilst in the grip of another. The 1939-45 world war had a profound effect on the world and particularly this country. Whilst it carried with it a huge cost in many areas, it was a time when the country pulled together and prevailed. It re-enforced the resilience that this nation has repeatedly shown in times of crisis.
“As we face the current period of uncertainty, a deliberate focus on the positive outcomes around us enables us to overcome the negatives, and whilst there are things we cannot control, there are many that we can. All we have to do is to be live to the opportunities that present themselves and to seize them when they arise. We are surrounded by folk who are seizing these opportunities and doing amazing things – we can but try to live up to their example!”