This week, my Saturday started with the opening ceremony of Hastings Week, a commemoration of the Battle of Hastings, and finished with a celebration of Hindu New Year at Hastings’ first Diwali event.
One thing is made very clear to me in the run up to Christmas each year. Hastings and Rye really know how to do community celebrations. Very few other areas have the sheer quantity or breadth of events that we do – from Wild Boar Weeks to Herring Fairs to the Sussex Bonfires. Everyone will have their own particular favourite celebration, whether religious or secular, but these events bring together the different groups from across Hastings and Rye and help to build a sense of local community and identity. Each of them allow us to enjoy the feeling of being part of a community that is made up of a huge number of different traditions and cultures.
The same community spirit that is evident in this array of celebrations we have, is also visible in our close links with Hastings, Sierra Leone. The Hastings Sierra Leone Friendship Link often hold events to further the ties between the two towns and have recently started an Ebola response appeal to help the medical team there. The Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone is an unprecedented human tragedy and, with cases now found in Hastings, Sierra Leone itself, any support we can offer to the community there will help the essential work already being done by the Government and medical professionals. For more information do go to their web page - http://www.hastingshastings.org.uk/