Mandela book of condolence is opened at Otley Council offices

Wharfedale Observer: Otley people can sign a book of condolence for Nelson Mandela Otley people can sign a book of condolence for Nelson Mandela

A book of condolence has been opened in Otley for residents to leave their comments in praise of Nelson Mandela.

The town council says it has made the gesture to allow people to pay their respects to “a great leader” who symbolised the long struggle against apartheid and injustice.

Town Mayor Councillor Pam Gill (Lab, Manor) was among the first to sign the book, which is located in the town council’s base, Otley Core Resource Centre, on Orchard Gate.

Council leader Councillor John Eveleigh (Lab, Ashfield) said: “For many of my generation, the fight against apartheid was the backdrop of our earliest political awareness and Nelson Mandela’s release from prison after 27 years of incarceration will be forever remembered as one of those pivotal events in history.”

A former Otley & Yeadon councillor, meanwhile, has said meeting Mr Mandela was one of the highlights of his political career.

Honorary Alderman Graham Kirkland, who represented the area for the Liberal Democrats for more than 40 years, met the former South African president in 2001 when he was given the Freedom of the City of Leeds.

He said: “It was just enough to say hello and shake his hand, but that was certainly one of the highlights of my council career.”

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