I must begin today by thanking outgoing Mayor Christian Santos, GMD for taking the role in June 2021 and making the City Hall a place where everyone has felt welcome and at home.
Christian took on the role with an enthusiasm and energy that has defined everything he has been involved in, professionally and in his passion for the performing arts.
Under the “We Are One” campaign, Christian has represented every single Gibraltarian of every religion or none, of every sexual orientation, of every ethnicity and has done it with the love which he has shown us all that he has for his Gibraltar.
Together with his husband Samuel, he has ensured that Gibraltar continues to shine the beacon of community, diversity and harmony that we so cherish and enjoy.
Today, we thank Christian for having embodied, in his tenure, the rich history of Gibraltar, encapsulating the spirit of our Community, the triumphs of our culture, and the strength of our collective identity.
We thank this extraordinary individual who has dedicated himself tirelessly to the service of Gibraltar.
Thank you, Christian and Samuel.
I am delighted also to be standing here today to be the first person to officially welcome Carmen Gomez to the role of Mayor of Gibraltar.
Carmen Gomez is a name that resonates with every generation in our Community. For many of us, she has been a constant presence in our lives, representing Gibraltar with grace and dignity both locally and on international stages.
From her participation in the Miss World contest as Miss Gibraltar in 1970, her journey from the Gibraltar Drama Festivals to the hallowed halls of the West End is a testament to her remarkable talent, unwavering determination, and unyielding commitment to her craft.
She has played many roles in the theatre and on television and her considerable charisma will serve her well in the new role she is about to take on.
But Carmen’s impact extends far beyond her artistic achievements. She has carried the spirit of Gibraltar with her as she travelled the globe, bringing the beauty of our culture to audiences far and wide.
Carmen’s unwavering dedication to our City and her relentless pursuit of excellence has touched the hearts of countless individuals and has elevated Gibraltar’s reputation as a symbol of our resilience and unity, internationally.
As Carmen assumes the role of Mayor today, she does so with the understanding that her previous two years as Deputy Mayor were more than a mere ‘dress rehearsal’.
The robe and medallion bestowed upon her today serve as symbols of her readiness to embrace the responsibility that lies ahead, a responsibility that she is more than prepared to shoulder.
In the grand theatrical tradition, we draw inspiration from the legendary Carmen Miranda, whose vibrant costumes and robust spirit continue to captivate audiences to this day.
Similarly, we look to Carmen Gomez, who embodies the essence of our City, its Culture, and its People. With her, we can be assured that the role of Mayor will be fulfilled with grace, passion, and an unwavering commitment to the welfare of all Gibraltarians.
I take a moment now to say a few words about our newly-appointed Deputy Mayor, Nicholas “Nicky” Guerrero.
An exceptional individual who has also dedicated his career to promoting Gibraltar as a world-class tourism and hospitality destination.
It is with great pleasure and admiration that I stand before you today as the Chief Minister of Gibraltar, to extend my warmest congratulations to Deputy Mayor Nicky Guerrero.
Throughout his tenure as CEO of the Gibraltar Tourist Board, Nicky demonstrated exceptional leadership and a deep commitment to promoting Gibraltar on the international stage.
He actively engaged with the airline and cruise industries, nurturing relationships and driving route development.
His dedication to fostering partnerships and collaboration was recognised when he held the post of Director for Events and Partnerships on the Board of Directors of MedCruise, the Association of Mediterranean Cruise Ports. He is now the Association’s new Secretary General.
His fluency in English and Spanish, coupled with his proficiency in French, allows him to engage with individuals from diverse backgrounds, reinforcing Gibraltar’s reputation as an inclusive and welcoming Community.
Today, we bestow upon Nicky Guerrero the honour of serving as Deputy Mayor of Gibraltar. On behalf of the entire Community, I extend my heartfelt congratulations on your investiture as Deputy Mayor.
Your extensive knowledge, unwavering commitment, and vast experience make you an exceptional choice for this crucial role. I have no doubt!
Nicky and Carmen exemplify the spirit of Gibraltar. They have left an indelible mark and continue to inspire us all through their achievements, dedication, and love for Gibraltar and its People.
Carmen, today we entrust you with the honour and privilege of leading our beloved City as Mayor of Gibraltar. We have witnessed your immense talents, your dedication, and your tireless efforts to promote our Culture and defend our identity.
Your journey has been a source of inspiration for us all, and we are confident that with you as the Mayor, Gibraltar will continue to thrive and prosper both locally and internationally.
On behalf of our entire Community, I extend my warmest congratulations and gratitude to you, Mayor Carmen Gomez.
May your tenure be marked by great achievements, collaborative endeavours, and a lasting legacy.
As we embark on this new chapter together, let us continue to celebrate the cultural richness and artistic spirit that define us as a People.
Let us stand united, proud of our heritage, and steadfast in our commitment to Gibraltar’s bright and prosperous future.
With you as our Mayor, we are confident that Gibraltar will continue to shine as a beacon of cultural excellence and unity.
Please embrace this Mayoralty and make it your own as only you know how.
Carmen, for the next two years, this stage is yours.