Colonel Brian Kay retires as Islington Deputy Lieutenant

After 18 years of representing the Queen in the borough, Colonel Brian Kay has stepped down as Islington’s Deputy Lieutenant.

The 75-year-old, who has co-ordinated many royal visits during his tenure, handed over his badge to successor Dr Charles Goodson-Wickes at a ceremony in the Town Hall in Upper Street.

But, in recognition of his service, Col Kay has been appointed Sheriff of the borough, a role which will see him continue to take part in supporting voluntary initiatives and citizenship ceremonies.

He said: “I have enjoyed my time immensely, but there comes a time when you have to step out of the limelight and let the next person take over.”

As Deputy Lieutenant, Colonel Kay has been responsible for organising visits to Islington by members of the Royal Family since 1993, which he said had “always been very supportive of the borough.”

He said a personal highlight was the Queen’s visit to Moorfields Eye Hospital in 2007, when she opened a children’s ward.

Mayor of Islington, Cllr Phil Kelly, said: “Deputy Lieutenant Colonel Kay has been a constant in the borough for 18 years in times of great change and we owe him a huge vote of thanks.

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“As the Queen’s representative in Islington, he has supported the office of mayor at our most important civic occasions.

“But Colonel Kay’s role is far more than ceremonial as he has been a huge practical asset to the borough, helping us judge our Civic Awards, raising thousands of pounds for the mayors’ charities as well as providing leadership to cadets, youth and voluntary organisations.”

Colonel Kay said: “My family has a long association with Islington. I had a cousin who traced back our family connection over 250 years.

“Both my mother and father had large families, so I always had lots of aunts, uncles and cousins living in the borough. It’s a place in which I feel very comfortable and very much at ease.”