Friday, 20 October 2017

Chinese visitors fascinated by ceremony

CHINESE officials visited Henley to find out more about British politics.

CHINESE officials visited Henley to find out more about British politics.

The 12 delegates, who are local councillors in their country, attended a formal reception at the town hall.

They were greeted by Henley MP John Howell, Mayor Elizabeth Hodgkin, South Oxfordshire District Council leader Ann Ducker and town clerk Mike Kennedy.

Mr Howell spoke to the group about British democracy, while Councillor Ducker explained how local authorities are independently regulated.

Cllr Hodgkin spoke about the town council’s history and traditions and showed them its ceremonial mace, which dates back to 1752. She also put on her mayoral robes and chain, so the visitors could take photographs.

The delegates also watched a video of highlights from Henley’s social calendar, which was produced by the Standard. The visit was arranged on the Chinese government’s behalf by the Centre for Advanced Management Experience in Oxford and was part of a three-week tour of Britain.

Cllr Hodgkin said: “They were intrigued by everything. They especially enjoyed the ceremonial side of things — they kept lifting up the mace to feel how heavy it was.

“It was really nice to meet them and I hope they enjoyed their morning in Henley.”

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