London: Resham Singh Sandhu, a prominent
Indian-origin multicultural leader selected as the new High
Sheriff of Leicestershire, says he is honoured and it’s a matter of
privilege to serve the office.
Sandhu, who was awarded the MBE in 2002, migrated to
Leicestershire from Punjab 38 years ago.
He will be the first turban-wearing Sikh in the UK to
hold the office of High Sheriff.
"It`s a great honour and privilege. This is going to
set a good image of Great Britain. People can see that if you
really work hard and deserve it, you can become a civic
dignitary. It promotes multi-culturalism," he told the media
He added: "My family in Punjab always worked with
communities and to help other people. When I came over here I
wanted to do the same. I didn`t do it because I wanted to be
recognised for it ? I never expected that".
Sandhu, a former chairman of Leicester`s council of
faiths, was commissioned in 2006 as the Deputy Lord Lieutenant
for Leicestershire. He will wear the same ceremonial uniform
for the role of High Sheriff.
Sandhu will succeed Colonel Robert Martin in either
March or April next year and will be expected to attend royal
visits and be entitled to act as a returning officer in
The High Sheriff is a volunteer, unpaid and in office
for one year, and is the Queen`s representative for law and
order in the county, reports from Leicester said.
The Office of High Sheriff is the oldest secular
office in the UK after the Crown. Leicestershire has had High
Sheriffs since 1172.
Historically, responsibilities included tax
collection, conscription and maintaining law and order, but
today the role is chiefly attending royal visits and acting as
returning officer in parliamentary elections.
Before the High Sheriffs take up office next March, a
second ceremony will take place at the Privy Council in
At the ceremony, Queen Elizabeth, using a silver
bodkin in a practice dating back to the reign of Queen
Victoria, will prick their names on a parchment list to give
their appointments the royal seal of approval.