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Last Updated: Saturday, 10 November 2007, 17:12 GMT
Lord Mayor's pride in Welsh links
Lord Mayor David Lewis
Lord Mayor David Lewis is learning Welsh
The grandson of a Carmarthenshire sheep farmer is the new Lord Mayor of London in a Dick Whittington-style tale of humble beginnings to City top job.

Lawyer David Lewis, 59, said he is "proud" of his Welsh heritage, which can be traced back 500 years.

He was born abroad after his father moved overseas in the 1920s to work.

Mr Lewis said: "One wouldn't really have envisaged the grandson of a Cothi Valley sheep farmer getting the position I'm in."

He added: "Interestingly, Dick Whittington was the former alderman in my ward, 600 years ago."

Mr Lewis led the historic Lord Mayor's Show on Saturday, when about 6,000 people and 70 floats took part on the parade along a three-mile route.

The lawyer and a businessman served as Sheriff of the city in 2006-2007.

He attended the same Oxford college as his father, "Tiny" Lewis, who won an open scholarship to the university in the 1920s and then moved to abroad, finishing his career as the most senior civil servant in what is now Malaysia.

Welsh lamb

Mr Lewis, who stands 6ft 4ins tall, was born in Hong Kong and educated in England. But he said he has always "felt Welsh" and follows the rugby team. He said: "I'm proud of my background."

He is the first Lord Mayor of the City to have a Welsh motto - which translates as "aim as high as the sun" - and only the 8th Welsh Lord Mayor in 800 years.

He is learning Welsh and lamb from his family's farm will be served at the Lord Mayor's inaugural banquet.

He said: "All of my family for 500 years are buried in the same two churchyards in the valley and being Welsh is very important to me."

As Lord Mayor, he can expected to spend 100 days abroad over the coming year promoting the City's financial services industry, which accounts for 25% of the UK corporate tax revenue and 13% of its GDP.

Mr Lewis, who is married with two married children, will also give an estimated 900 speeches, while attending up to 15 meetings a day.



VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
David Lewis is the grandson of a hill sheep farmer



SEE ALSO
Historic spectacle draws crowds
11 Nov 06 |  London
In pictures: Lord Mayor's Show
12 Nov 05 |  In Pictures

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