The spirit of the Preston Guild friendship will be heading down under this month.Advertisement
Geoff Oldham will be jetting off for Australia to collect warm wishes from former Prestonians who have left for new pastures.
Geoff, who is a member of the Preston Guild Rotary Club, will be meeting and greeting mayors in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.
His mission is part of a tradition dating back to 1952 when scrolls were sent around the world to collect the wishes and messages of ex-pats.
Geoff, who lives in Goosnargh, brought a planned holiday to Australia at the end of the year forward so he could help get the messages of former Prestonians.
He said: “It’s a great responsibility to go and get the messages. I have already made contact with a number of Lord Mayors in cities in Australia and they have been very supportive.
“The Guild is such a historic tradition, over 850 years we have been celebrating the Guild charter so I’m glad to play my part.”
Geoff will also be taking a replica of the Town Hall clock tower in his luggage to put on display in Town Halls in the major cities of Eastern Australia.
Guild organisers hope Prestonians who live in the city will let family and friends living down under know of Geoff’s trip.
Geoff said: “My message to the people of Australia would be to come and see me and give their message, because they won’t get chance for another 20 years!”
2012 won’t be Geoff’s first Guild, he took part in the 1972 march with the Fulwood Methodist Church and in 1992 he was part of the trades procession.
Geoff will be in Brisbane from January 17th to January 24th.
Sydney will be on 30th January to 3rd February before Geoff visits the Town Hall in Melbourne from 13th to 17th February.
Rotary International in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga will also help collect Guild wishes to be added to the scrolls.
Its not the first time the replica of the Town Hall has been off around the world though, in September last year the Mayor took it with her to New York and another went to Hong Kong via the international team at the University of Central Lancashire.
This year the Guild also has a virtual version of the scrolls, allowing people around the world to send their wishes to Preston.