Momentous day for Ely Pride and praise for its members who “organised, sweated, planned and totally pulled this off’
- Credit: Archant
It was a day when a headline grabbing cleric was put in his place, historic Ely Cathedral flew the LGBT Pride flag, and a city celebrated diversity and the elimination of discrimination on the grounds of sexuality.
Ely and Cambridge Gay Pride held an enormously successful first public event in the city – and an official opening by mayor Mike Rouse ensured the welcome was warm and generous.
“Wow, wow, wow; thank you everyone,” was how organisers summed up the day.
“It was an absolutely amazing day and night.”
Those who attended were quick to praise the organisers who had spent many months putting together the day’s events.
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“Huge congratulations to all off you who organised, sweated, cried, planned and totally pulled this off,” one told them.
“You guys are truly wonderful! Thank you from all of us who got to enjoy all your hard work.”
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One mother told organisers: “Well done on the first Pride in Ely.
“I and my two young sons had a fabulous time showing our support for our LGBT friends. Here’s to many more for years to come.”
Another supporter said: “What an achievement. It was a lovely day and one I never thought I would see in Ely.
“Thank you for your efforts and tenacity. It meant a lot.”
Fire crews, police, NHS and ambulance staff and a contingent from RAF Wittering were among the organisations attending to show their support for the LGBT movement in the city.
And there was a thank you too from within the cathedral – whose dean had made the momentous decision to allow the Pride flag to be flown.
“Hurray,” one supporter told them. “As a part of the cathedral community I know I join many others in celebrating this exciting event.”
The mayor, Cllr Rouse, in opening the event said: “On behalf of the City of Ely, I’m delighted to welcome everyone to our first Pride day. It is about 18 months since Fritha, Ariane and Claire came to the City Council and explained what they hoped to do and we were pleased to give them a grant to help.
“Which gives me a chance to say that this year’s community grants scheme is now open for applications, so we look forward to hearing from any societies o groups who think the City council may be able to help them in a similar fashion with their plans.”
He added: “As your mayor I am proud of our city – its diversity and friendliness. We may be an ‘island city’ but we are no longer insular.
“I have just come from the East Anglian Children’s Hospice Charity Colour dash and I think this is just as colourful.
“Enjoy the day in friendship. At my age I have seen many changes in attitudes within our society and I hope that my children, now in their twenties (to Cassie: alright you are still 19) are growing up in a more tolerant and understanding environment, but I admit there is still some way to go.
“But just look at that flag flying from the cathedral – we have come a long way.
“We should be proud of whom we are and we should be proud of what we are in the City of Ely.
“To coin a phrase (and it’s not one of mine) the world seems a bit warmer now!”