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My memories of Cynthia Barker, Worshipful Mayor of Hertsmere in UK (Part 14)

The reelection bid of Cynthia Barker as the councilor of twin boroughs of Elstree and Borehamwood in Hertsmere district of the county of Hertfordshire in the United Kingdom in 2019 was tough.

Cynthia admitted this during our online talk in June of the same year. Even in the course of their campaign with the residents of Elstree and Borehamwood, it was a hard sailing enterprise for all the candidates especially among the Conservative Party which she was identified. The critical issue of Brixet was a determining factor in the candidacy of each one. Even the aspirants in the same post of the Labour Party and the Liberal Democrat alignment, there was a foreshadowing of what kind of composition the council would gather in.

The United Kingdom was divided about the issue. When I talked to Cynthia she said that it was painful for her to see the seeming widening gap between peoples in her turf regarding that membership or the departure of UK from the European Union (EU). Barker even sounded off her frustration about the unity of her fellow British—even among the Fil-Britons and other multicultural ethnicities in the whole country. 

“I am sad about what’s happening to the people of the UK. May the Lord help us to hurdle this division of people,” she prayed.

We could also glean on English celebrities about their sentiments on the issue. Singer Sir Elton John was against the UK going away from EU. He said that he was a through and through European.

Cynthia could only cry in her solitude while toeing the line of her party.

Despite the ebb of the raging battle between the believers and non-believers on the issue, she continued her wooing the electorate among the residents. “I explained to them the essence of the issue. I was very objective about it. I was humbly asking them to study the pros and cons of the subject,” said Cynthia in her online spaces.

There she was the symbol of unity among the citizens of Elstree and Borehamwood. She prayed hard that the people would be enlightened. She hoped they would be objective as well in receiving and giving the issue.

Come election time. Barker was at home most of the time monitoring the initial results at the polls. He was praying hard about the political and social condition of her territories. She just wanted the general welfare of the community without tarnishing anything in the people who trusted her.

The counting of ballots was indeed a cliffhanger.

She was sometimes in the brink of frustration but she would rise above pettiness and negativities.

Unlike the previous elections when she would be pretty sure of landing the top three, it was the time of uncertainty.

Still, she looked at the sunny side of the occasion.

When the final counting was over, she was on Top Three (3) of the council. Everyone applauded especially the British-Filipinos in the district. There was a few thousand Fil-Brits or Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) in the community and Cynthia was thankful about their support. She was also gratified by the attitude of the mainstream white population and the multi-ethnic demographics in Elstree and Borehamwood.

 

 

Imagine, the Hollywood of Great Britain is in the twin districts and Cynthia was a board of trustee of the Elstree and Borehamwood Museum, a repository of all memorabilia in the entire history of English filmmaking. Barker was privileged to be a trusted person in UK Hollywood where she could go in and out of the studio hub to govern the welfare of the people and the institution.

That‘s why when British-Filipino filmmaker Jowee Morel was in UK in 2018, he had the field day upon himself savoring the glory of England in the history of world cinema. Alongside the progress and development of the early motion picture industry in the West, Elstree and Borehamwood were the seats of proud makers of finest films in the projects of James Bond, Indiana Jones, Harry Potter and the space odyssey of “Star Wars” etc. As a Fil-Brit, Jowee was mesmerized by the glamour and glitter of Elstree and Borehamwood. He was from London but he travelled miles to get to Cynthia’s turf of the world of illusion and reality.

Even popular TV shows “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” or “Big Brother,” yes, the mother show of our own “Pinoy Big Brother (PBB),” are being shot in Elstree and Borehamwood.

“It’s my duty to protect the security of Elstree and Borehamwood Film Studios. It is under my jurisdiction as a council member. I should see to it that our local Hollywood is free from any outside danger as a mandate,” explained Councillor Barker.

During that time, after her swearing in as a council member, Alan Plancey was the Worshipful Mayor of Hertsmere. Plancey trusted Cynthia so much. Of course, there were other trustworthy councilors in the name of public service. Eventually, Barker was nominated as the Deputy Mayor of Herstmere and she won the election among her fellow councilors.

It was another milestone in the political journey of Cynthia that she was hailed by a lot of people. Hers was to represent the Worshipful Mayor if he was not available in any public commitment or even exclusive appearances of the head of the district. Plancey was proud he got Cynthia as his Deputy. They had been together in so many fights for the general welfare of their constituents so there weren’t qualms as to the dedication of Cynthia.

Barker was a bridge of all colors in the UK as she represented all races in the community mostly because of her objectivity and fair judgment on people.

One of the biggest achievements of Cynthia in her council performances was the rallying behind the interest of the common people in her area especially in the issue of housing.

I remember when she was here in the Philippines in the early part of 2019, she wasn’t even distracted from her reunion with Filipino friends and relatives when someone (a fellow Filipino) rang her up from the UK that night. “He had a problem with his housing. He was about to be ejected because of so many concerns but I should help him out. So it was settled once and for all,” she said. (To be continued)

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