I suggested recently to people in the SDLP that Alban Maginness should shave off his famous moustache to raise some cash for Children in Need. I thought my proposal had fallen on deaf ears until the following press release popped into my inbox:
MAGINNESS IN CLOSE SHAVE FOR CHILDREN IN NEED
With Children in Need fast approaching the Chair of the SDLP Assembly Group, Alban Maginness MLA, has agreed, with a little persuasion, to shave off his moustache in the name of charity. This decision has not been taken lightly by the esteemed member – the moustache has been an integral and longstanding part of Mr Maginness’s makeup.
Alban hopes to hold a shaving ceremony on Thursday of this week and photographic evidence of this particular piece of decommissioning will be provided! Speaking today Alban said:
“This is a decision I have not taken lightly. My moustache has been a close friend to me over the years, through good times and bad, through thick and thinning! It was present at the birth of my children and during many election campaigns walking the streets of North Belfast. The thought of being without it, for even a short while, fills me with both fear and trepidation.
On a serious note though, the moustache can grow back, I may even prefer life without it, but through the small efforts of many fundraisers throughout the North every year, Children in Need provides hope for many of the most needy and most overlooked sections of our society.
The truth is that we all can make a difference, however small. We can all work alone or with others to, to draw attention to the event, raise funds for Children in Need, and take part in the knowledge that we are taking part in something bigger. My moustache may have been a major part of my life, but it is only one small story among thousands that are told every year when raising money for Children in Need.”
I know it'll be tough for Alban to wave goodbye to this much loved appendage, but he'll be fine- so long as he maintains a stuff upper lip of course...