COLUMNIST: Mike Mendoza, chairman of Adur District Council, on Indian Colours, sea cadets and more

EVERY week seems to get better and better, as more people realise that there IS a chairman of Adur district and what the role entails.

I am delighted to say that I have had yet another amazing week meeting some pretty amazing and dedicated people in and around the district.

It is great to see different communities at work in the district. Over the weekend, we had the pleasure of attending the inauguration of a cultural event organised by the Indian community at the Shoreham Centre.

The community has formed its own group, called Indian Colours. We were treated to a variety of singing, dancing, poetry and top-quality Indian cuisine.

This was very much a family gathering and it was wonderful to see the beautiful traditional dress worn by many present. The president of Indian Colours, Sathyesh Bhat, explained to me that since starting the group, they have organised a number of activities.

The aim of the community is to get likeminded people together to arrange many events, including charity and sporting events, plus to improve awareness of local cultural lifestyle. We wish Indian Colours well for the future and hope that others in our community will enjoy what they have to offer.

We visited the Hove and Adur Sea Cadets, who were having their annual inspection by Cdr John Greene. He was there to evaluate the cadets annual rating.

We watched a very impressive display of ‘on land’ seamanship by several of the cadets, which included rigging a sailboat, a knot tying display and a semaphore flag demonstration.

We saw a great bunch of youngsters of varying ages from seven to 16, all very keen to make a future with the Royal Navy. It was fantastic to see so many young people willing to give up their free time and show such dedication.

At the end of the demonstrations, disciplined marching, etc., Cdr Greene could give the cadets one of three degrees to enable them to continue. I am delighted to say they all came through with flying colours and received the top degree available.

Cdr Greens added: “This award is not just for the cadets and the hard work they put in, but also for the officers in charge of the ‘ship’. Every one of the officers are volunteers, no one gets paid, not even the commanding officer, such is their dedication.”

While on the topic of talented youngsters, let me be one of the first to congratulate 19-year-old Shoreham resident Marianna Macari-Ferris on being accepted into an elite performing arts school.

Thousands of applicants from around the world fought to get a place at the Urdang Academy in London. Marianna has now started a three-year course which includes jazz, ballet, contemporary dance, singing and acting.

I have known this young lady since she was adopted from an orphanage in China. She is an absolute delight to be around and lights up a room when she walks in.

Marianna said: “I have wanted to be a professional dancer all my life and determined to get into Urdang for four years now.”

Supporting her are her mother Gloria and highly-talented brother Dominic, a professor and graduate from the Royal College of Music.

I did say I have had a busy week...another event we attended was the Mumpreneurs Networking Club, where I met a very impressive group of hard-working mothers who are self employed and meet to pass on their ideas, suggestions and ask for help from women in similar circumstances.

About 40 women turned up at Ropetackle, where they meet on a monthly basis. I was asked to speak about the role of chairman of the district and to plug the Jive Aces charity event at the Shoreham Centre on September 29.

This club is ideal for ladies who are thinking of going into business either part time or full time. Advice is given by fellow attendees on a various range of initiatives available, plus discussions on start ups. If you would like to join the group, check out their website or call them on 01273 681484.

And finally, we also attended the prizegiving ceremony at English Language Homestays, situated at Shoreham Airport. I gave certificates to about 80 students, all from the Czech Republic, who had completed an intensive course of English.

Prior to the certificates being awarded, the students put on three short plays and sang a song, all in perfect English. I love this job…