Lankan born Sahran Abeysundara was recently elected the 43rd Mayor of Haslemere, a quaint and charming market town, steeped in history in the borough of Waverley in Surrey, England.
The Mayor is considered the town’s first citizen and Sahran was elected to the position in May at the Full Council meeting held annually. He will remain in office for one year acting in his capacity as ambassador for Haslemere, representing the town at civic and ceremonial functions and supporting community groups and projects.
Each year the Mayor of Haslemere shortlists charities they will raise funds for during their tenure. The charities selected by Sahran are Positive Action, Action Medical Research for Children, The Kaleidoscope Trust and The Haslemere Penny Ha’Penny Trust.
At an event to felicitate his new role Sahran, in his acceptance speech was recently quoted as saying “I stand here today, humbled, and look back at my life with pride and overwhelming gratitude and I look forward with hope and determination. Who would have thought a boy from the island nation of Ceylon, in the same year, 42 years ago, as Haslemere created its first town council, would grow up to be its Mayor. I thank my mother for making me the man I am today. Thank You.”
Sahran, an old boy of Woodstock International School at the foothills of the Himalayas, also participated in the reality series ‘The Amazing Race’ with his friend Howard Bicknell in 2006. Sahran has lived in Haslemere for the last six years, and describes himself as an “interior designer and human rights campaigner”.