A ‘QUIET but terrier-like’ councillor instrumental in the founding of Harrow Muslim Council has received the chains of office of the Mayor of Harrow.
Nizam Ismail, a Labour ward member for Queensbury since 2002, was elected to the role of first citizen of the borough at the full council meeting on Tuesday, May 22, taking over from Councillor Mrinal Choudhury.
He chose Age Concern Harrow as his nominated charity for the mayoral year and will be joined at events by wife Zarafaran as mayoress.
Mr Ismail, a retired engineer who is in his 70s and has two grown-up children, told the Observer on Friday: “It’s a challenge because it’s going to be a very busy year, with the London Olympics and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
“Last year I was deputy mayor and attended well over 100 community events, and I really enjoyed it.
“I’m a community-minded person and I would like to meet as many people as possible in the London borough of Harrow during my mayoral year.”
Nominator and council leader Bill Stephenson said at the event: “With your quiet and inclusive manner, you were key to the setting up of the Harrow Muslim Council which unites all of Harrow’s Muslim communities. A tremendous achievement.
“You are now, of course, deservedly so, its chair.
“It was your unswerving determination which eventually succeeded in getting extended cemetery services at weekends for Muslims in Harrow Weald Cemetery.
“You have served with distinction as a member on nearly all the council’s main committees. You are terrier-like.
“You will not let a point go until it has been dealt with properly and many of your interventions have led to changes in policy.”