PLYMOUTH, UK—A local councillor and self-confessed patriot has been honoured for his efforts in driving Plymouth’s St George’s Day celebrations.
Chaz Singh has been awarded the ‘Silver Cross of St George’ by a global magazine, marking his “valiant efforts” in helping to organise the annual party.
Chaz, the city’s first ever Sikh councillor and its current Deputy Lord Mayor, was the brains behind Plymouth’s patron saint celebrations when they were launched last year.
This year’s all-singing, all-dancing bonanza in the city centre was an even bigger hit – and the 2013 event promises to be better again.
A mystery reader of This England magazine nominated Drake Ward Labour councillor Chaz for the award anonymously.
“I’ve no idea at all who it was,” he said. “That’s the really nice part of it for me, I’m over the moon.
“A lot of other people and organisations have supported the idea and I think it’s nice to know that people are seeing what goes on in Plymouth and giving us recognition.”
This year’s extravaganza in the Piazza included live music, food, beer, fancy dress, children’s activities and competitions.
“Plymouth never really did anything for St George’s Day until last year,” added Chaz, who is a funding and training officer for non-profit social inclusion organisation Fata He.
“I thought, ‘Let’s set the benchmark and take it from there’, and it’s paid off.
“It’s one of those things that needs to build up year-on-year – and so far it has.
“I think it’s an important event for the city, and we’ve actually got the biggest St George’s Day in the whole of the South West now.”
Next year the event, which supported the Plymouth Drake Foundation this April, will raise money for the Parkinson’s UK charity.
The Cheltenham-based publication This England has a circulation of around 100,000, and is popular with British ex-pats.