Lord Provost Sadie's very special year

SINCE becoming Lord Provost seven months ago Sadie Docherty has met the great and the good from all walks of life.

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Mrs Docherty pictured putting the highest bauble on George Square's Christmas tree
Mrs Docherty pictured putting the highest bauble on George Square's Christmas tree

But it is one of the city's newest residents who has stolen her heart.

In November, Mrs Docherty became a grandmother for the first time.

And she admits she has fallen head over heels for tiny Grace Christina.

The councillor for Linn said: "I have two children and one beautiful new granddaughter newly out of the wrapper.

"It is the best feeling in the world. A number of friends said I would really enjoy it but I didn't think I could love anyone as much as I love my own two children. But I do."

Grace's birth was the highlight of what Mrs Docherty describes as a remarkable year.

It started with daughter Karen getting married. Then, in May, Mrs Docherty was re-elected to Glasgow City Council and shortly after was chosen to become only the fourth woman to serve as Lord Provost of Glasgow in more than 500 years.

She describes the volume of work as "incredible" and it is not unusual for her to have five engagements in one day, starting work at 10am and finishing close to midnight.

But she says she is loving the role and delighted to be representing the city she loves.

She said: "I feel completely and utterly privileged to be in the position I am.

"I come into the City Chambers on a daily basis and am in awe of the fact I am Lord Provost."

Every new job has teething problems and being the city's First Citizen is no exception.

But thanks to Prince Andrew she overcame a problem which was becoming a nuisance.

Just days after being handed the civic chain Mrs Docherty had to greet the Prince at the Laying of the Colours in Glasgow Cathedral.

She said: "The chain was swinging from side to side and kept slipping off my shoulders.

"Prince Andrew must have fixed it for me 10 times and gave me tips on how to get it adjusted.

"We took it back to the jeweller with his suggestions, had it adjusted and that is how it is now. So it is thanks to Prince Andrew that the civic chain sits much better."

Just weeks later she met the Queen and Prince Philip when they arrived in the city on their Diamond Jubilee tour of the country.

Mrs Docherty said: "My uncle worked in the shipyards in Clydebank and as a child he invited me to a ship launch which was being conducted by a member of the Royal Family.

"I never thought that many years later I would be welcoming the Queen and other members of the Royal Family to the city."

Another highlight of Mrs Docherty's year was meeting the stars of the Olympics and Paralympics when they came to Glasgow for a victory procession to George Square.

The Cuban Paralympic team was based in Glasgow before the London event and she was visited in the City Chambers in September by Fidelito Castro – the son of Cuban president Fidel Castro.

Mrs Docherty said: "He came to thank the city for all the support and help the team had received during their stay here."

But while the Lord Provost enjoys meeting famous faces, she is equally happy meeting the ordinary people who live in the city.

She said: "I want to be a Lord Provost who is approachable to everyone, whether it is an ambassador from Japan or people at the Baillieston Unity Christmas lunch.

"I recently attended a 70th wedding anniversary party in Maryhill and I have never laughed so much.

"The couple's granddaughter asked me to go along and it was one of the happiest 45 minutes I have ever spent."

Mrs Docherty was born in the Gorbals and brought up in Castlemilk and wants her legacy to lie with the young people of the city. She said: "I am going to engage with young people by going to all our 138 primary schools.

"I will take the civic mace and Provost's chain with me and will talk to the young people.

"I have had two trial runs and the children's questions were very probing.

"They wanted to know how much the chain was worth and whether I wear it all day.

"One young man asked if I arranged for the bins to be collected and I had to explain I wasn't personally responsible.

"I have always had an interest in young people – I was one myself at one time.

"I was a member of the Children's Panel for a number of years and was active in youth clubs going back many years."

Mrs Docherty is an ordinary woman doing an extraordinary job and can expect her hectic life to continue until she steps down as Lord Provost in 2017.

However she now has an extra special way of relaxing.

She explained: "When I am with my granddaughter Grace I have no choice but to wind down.

"The other day she burped all over but that is life as a granny and it is fantastic to be in that position.

"For me, 2012 was a wonderful year and I look forward to 2013 being as good a year for both myself and for Glasgow."



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