COLUMNIST: Adur Council chairman Mike Mendoza, on Remembrance Sunday, the NSPCC and water meter works

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A FEW days ago, someone stopped me in the street and asked why I had stopped writing my Herald column, as they had really enjoyed reading it.

Well the answer is simple, I haven’t stopped, I have been on holiday for the past couple of weeks and needed to have a break to recharge, etc. This was my first break for over a year and here I am ready willing and able to carry on as before, if not better.

May I start with a word of advice to anyone about to go away and who uses social networking. Do not tell the cyber world about your departure and do not post photos of your holiday while away, because you are inviting trouble. You are freely publicising the fact your home is sitting there empty.

A good friend of my son recently went to Florida for a break and put so much information on his Facebook and Twitter accounts that when he returned a couple of weeks later, he found his home totally ransacked and his brand-new car stolen. This is the reason why I kept quiet about my break.

Back to all things Adur now. I guess I have to start with the amazing turnouts at all of the Adur district remembrance services in Shoreham, Southwick and Lancing.

I was immensely proud to be chairman of such a caring community and I managed to attend the services at Shoreham and Lancing and then went over the ‘border’ to Hove to attend the service for the Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women.

One of the most moving and emotional experiences of my life was to meet James Brynin’s grandmother, who attended the Shoreham ceremony. What an amazingly strong and lovely lady. I don’t know how any family copes with something as heart wrenching as this.

During the service at St Mary’s Church, a tribute was made to James, culminating in a two-minute round of applause. Mrs Brynin told me of the fantastic support the family have had from the army since Jay’s death, with someone there to support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Her concern is what happens after the support ends. I guess this is where family and community come in.

My next moment of pride was on Monday morning when more than 200 people turned up in front of the Shoreham War Memorial in East Street to once again stand in silence, in the rain, in appreciation of the sacrifices made by so many during two world wars and beyond.

During the past week, I had the pleasure of attending the NSPCC’s annual general meeting at Arundel Castle. It was fascinating to hear of the work carried out by the organisation, much of which I was not aware.

I learned how they have modernised over the years in order to cope with cyber bullying etc. I didn’t realise that the society was responsible for the implementation and maintaining the ChildLine scheme, which has been introduced into almost every school in the country.

I am now also aware of the number of dedicated volunteers that give up their time in order to make sure that the society runs as well as it does. I met with an amazing number of selfless people who just care about others.

I can’t wait to see who is going to be the winner of my Christmas card competition. I understand that whilst I was away, a lot more entries came in, which is going to make it very difficult to decide which one we will choose. As soon as the winner is chosen, the photo will be whisked away and printed immediately.

A quick reminder to put in your diaries December 5 for my civic carol Service at St Mary’s in Shoreham.

Southern Water’s installation teams will shortly be returning to Shoreham and Southwick to complete installations which were not possible to carry out in the main phase of their work programme.

They are re-contacting customers who have not had their meter installed to inform them about the situation and assure them that their meter will be installed as soon as possible.

Installation is free and customers will be provided with lots of written information about their meter and metered bill, as well as easy ways in which they can save water, energy and money.

Southern Water will be installing meters in Shoreham and Southwick during November and December. Customers will receive an information pack, both before their meter is installed and on the day of installation. They can also call the metering customer contact centre on 0333 2003 013 to find out more.