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Rodgers makes history as Lord Mayor, Deputy Lord Mayor and now Sheriff

By Claire McNeilly

Published 08/01/2016

Jim Rodgers - one of the longest serving members of Belfast City Council - will be sworn in as the new High Sheriff later this month.

Mr Rodgers has been Lord Mayor of Belfast on two occasions, in 2001-02 and 2007-08, and was a Deputy Lord Mayor from 1997-98.

It is the first time a serving member of Belfast City Council has held all three positions.

The Ulster Unionist politician, who is in his 60s, replaces DUP councillor Gareth McKee in the role.

Speaking exclusively to the Belfast Telegraph ahead of being sworn in on January 21, Mr Rodgers said he was very proud to assume the mantle of High Sheriff.

"I believe in giving anything that I'm involved in my best and I will certainly leave no stone unturned to make sure that I carry out all the duties of the High Sheriff in keeping with the position," he added.

"I'm a great believer in working with people, and as High Sheriff I'll do my best to ensure that Belfast is recognised and that people are made to feel welcome regardless of religion, colour, class or creed."

Mr Rodgers said he already had a number of engagements scheduled in his diary in relation to his new position, including a number of large anniversary commemorations during this year.

The official duties of a High Sheriff of Belfast include attending civic functions hosted by the Lord Mayor, undertaking specific functions on behalf of the council, attending functions in place of the Lord Mayor and providing general support to the first citizen in his work.

He will also have the opportunity to meet members of the royal family on official Belfast visits, and will get an invitation to a garden party at Buckingham Palace.

Mr Rodgers is married to Greta, also aged in her 60s, and the couple have no children.

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