Civic guests visit Burnley from Down Under

LONG HAUL: Mayor of Burnley Coun. Charles Bullas and his wife and Mayoress Mrs Irene Bullas are joined by Mr and Mrs Alan and Pamela Philipson. (s)

LONG HAUL: Mayor of Burnley Coun. Charles Bullas and his wife and Mayoress Mrs Irene Bullas are joined by Mr and Mrs Alan and Pamela Philipson. (s)

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FRIENDS of Burnley’s new Mayor travelled from the other side of the world to watch him be installed as the town’s first citizen at the town hall.

Coun. Charles Bullas was joined by former Burnley couple Mrs and Mrs Alan and Pamela Philipson at the annual Mayor-making ceremony.

Mr and Mrs Philipson moved from Burnley to Perth in Western Australia seven years ago, but made the long trip back especially to see their former neighbour take up the chains of office alongside his wife and Mayoress, Mrs Irene Bullas. Mr and Mrs Philipson bought their airline tickets some time ago – before it was clear that Coun. Bullas would retain his seat in the local elections.

Coun. Bullas said: “This is a very special day for me and for my wife Irene, who is now Madam Mayoress. I’m really moved that my old friends have taken the time to come and join us for this occasion, all the way from Australia.”

Mr Philipson added: “Charles let us know he was due to become Mayor – but that it all depended on whether or not he was re-elected as a local councillor at the recent elections. We took a chance that he would keep his seat, and booked the flights before the election. So we had our own reasons for hoping the vote would go the way that it did.”

Coun. Bullas became Mayor on the same day the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Charles visited Burnley. Immediately after the Mayor-making ceremony the new Mayor and Mayoress attended a reception for civic leaders with the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh at Accrington Town Hall.