LAST week, for me, was a week of highs and lows and some truly amazing experiences.

I had travelled to Ottawa, Canada’s capital city, on business. Most of my time was spent at the negotiating table, working on a deal that would allow me to hold a large conference there next year.

The Canadians I was working with became aware that I am currently Mayor of Ilminster and arranged for my colleagues and I to meet the Mayor of Ottawa for tea.

It soon became clear on our arrival that the Mayor of Ottawa’s staff had done their research, for the Mayor, Jim Watson, welcomed me wearing a ‘scarecrow badge’ in his lapel in honour of my visit and our recent scarecrow competition.

I was very touched that a Mayor of a city of about 900,000 people not only took 40 minutes out of his hectic schedule to meet us but had actually read up on Ilminster and was keen to know more about our town.

Back in Ilminster, one of my first duties as Mayor was to join Ilminster Swimming Club for its annual swimming gala.

The gala always takes place in Bridport and as always it was a lovely hot sunny day. With five clubs competing, the swimming pool was full to bursting – not just with competitors but spectators and supporters from all the clubs.

The young swimmers put everything into their swimming and it was a close run competition. Ilminster came in a very respectable third.

But what impressed me most was the combination of support from trainers and parents and the effort of the young people as they did their best to make their towns proud. They were all wonderful ambassadors for the towns from which they came.

It made me think that, though we may not realise it, we all have the opportunity to become ambassadors for Ilminster.

You never know when you might be given the chance to promote your town, but when and if you do, take it with both hands and tell the world how wonderful our town really is.