Jaswant Singh Birdi, an Indian-origin Sikh councillor was appointed as the new Lord Mayor of Coventry, a city in the West Midlands of the UK.
After assuming the role of Lord Mayor, Birdi will become the chairman of the City Council. As the city of Coventry’s first citizen, he will be the non-political, ceremonial head of the city.
The Punjab-born Lord Mayor succeeds Councillor Keven Maton in the role after he served Maton as Deputy Lord Mayor over the last 12 months.
The new Lord Mayor was presented with the Chains of Office, which is traditionally worn as official regalia by the mayor, at an annual general meeting of Coventry Cathedral last week.
In his statement, Birdi said, “I am so proud to become Lord Mayor of my adopted home city. It has given so much to myself and my family over the years and I will be honoured to show why I love it so much and to promote the city and the wonderful people who live here.”
Birdi became the first turban-wearing Lord Mayor of Coventry.
“As a Sikh, it also means so much that I will be wearing the Chains of Office and the turban. It will help show what a happy multicultural city we have and maybe inspire others as well,” he added in his official statement.
Birdi grew up with his family in Punjab, India. During his childhood, his family also moved to Lahore and West Bengal for work. He emigrated to Kenya with his family in the 1950s, after which he moved to the UK in the 1960s for higher education.
(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)