London, Dec. 29 (ANI): A charity campaigner from Bristol has become Britain's first black High Sheriff in a thousand years, since the post was created.
"I am absolutely thrilled. The very exciting thing about it is that, although the role has been around for more than 1,000 years, we have never had a High Sheriff of African descent. I hope to use the title to have good influence over things in the city," The Telegraph quoted Peaches Golding, 56, as saying.
Golding will take the ceremonial office of Bristol's High Sheriff in March 2010.
Golding, who is currently the regional director of one of Prince Charles' charities, took part in an ancient nomination ceremony in London for all the country's High Sheriffs before being selected to the unpaid position.
She will now attend all Royal visits in the area and will be entitled to act as a returning officer in parliamentary elections.
Golding, who will replace current High Sheriff Dr Tim Chambers, was chosen for the appointment, which lasts for one year, by a selection panel including former high sheriffs.
At one point of time, the sheriff was the principal agent of government in the counties of England and Wales, responsible for maintaining law, collecting taxes and providing soldiers.
The only significant legal functions of the position today relate to the enforcement of High Court writs.
In recent years, however, many High Sheriffs have been particularly active in the development of an anti-crime culture particularly among young people.
Golding said: "All High Sheriffs are concerned with young people and encouraging them to fulfil their potential. Tim Chambers has been doing very good work along these lines and I hope to continue what he has been doing.
"The role of High Sheriff is still relevant in today's society. A High Sheriff has several roles - the ceremonial role, looking after young people and what is also important is the ability to pull people together," she added. (ANI)