COLUMNIST: Mike Mendoza, chairman of Adur Council on HMS Shoreham

I CAN’T believe that since taking on the role of chairman of Adur, I have now attended approximately 150 engagements, with 2014 looking as busy if not busier.

Thank you to those who have shown Jennifer and myself some great hospitality. I believe that we are in this together and insist that if I am invited somewhere, then Jennifer has to be with me.

This is probably her reward for allowing me out so often over the years to attend council meetings, committee meetings, resident meetings, etc.

We have witnessed some wonderful talent in the district, as well as a lot of very caring people as well. I also had the pleasure of visiting Southlands Hospital prior to Christmas to wish the staff there well.

Talking of hard-working staff, how about a cheer for our postal workers who always go that extra mile at this time of the year. I think they have done a wonderful job getting those Christmas cards, etc. out to us on time.

Just before Christmas I received a lovely letter from the Commanding Officer of HMS Shoreham giving me an update on their activities in the Gulf. They certainly have been very active and recently went through an exercise with the American and French Navies.

It appears that HMS Shoreham is the most operationally capable Minehunter in the Royal Navy. The Commander informed me that he is sad to report that his crew is about to leave the ship after six months and they are all joining HMS Bangor, with a new crew and Commander about to take over HMS Shoreham.

The Commander says: ‘It is with heavy hearts that we leave our home on Shoreham but we take with us some fond memories and would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your ongoing support and kind messages. HMS Shoreham remains very much your (the citizens of Shoreham) ship and you should feel duly proud of the work she is doing and contribution she is making to operations on the Arabian Gulf.”

We look forward to welcoming ‘our’ ship back to Shoreham Port some time in 2014.

We all know someone who works tirelessly volunteering in our community who really deserves some acknowledgement. We are looking for these people to be nominated and given some recognition for what they do.

All you have to do is tell Adur council who they are and why you want to nominate them. This is all part of our Community Angels’awards that will take place early 2014. Have a look at the Adur website for more information.

May I take this opportunity to remind you that the panto season is still here; ‘oh yes it is’, with some great shows in both Worthing and Ropetackle in Shoreham. Check the websites for times etc.

Time now to wish you all a very Happy New Year, I hope to see many of you in 2014. It’s a big year for many, including the 100th anniversary of the first world war, the 25th anniversary of Shoreham Airshow, the European elections and the Adur Council elections.