Rugby dignitaries finally get the chance to thank one of the town's most dedicated stalwarts face-to-face

The Mayor of Rugby held a reception at the town hall for Dr James Shera, after he was awarded an honorary Ph.D at a 'virtual' ceremony due to the pandemic

Dr Peter David, Cllr Morris Johns, the Mayor of Rugby Cllr Carolyn Watson-Merret, Dr James Shera, Jonathan Addleton and Dr Nayer Fardows at Rugby Town Hall.
Dr Peter David, Cllr Morris Johns, the Mayor of Rugby Cllr Carolyn Watson-Merret, Dr James Shera, Jonathan Addleton and Dr Nayer Fardows at Rugby Town Hall.

Rugby dignitaries finally got the chance to thank the town's longest-serving councillor face-to-face at a special event.

The Mayor of Rugby held a reception at the town hall for Freeman of the Borough and former Mayor, Dr James Shera.

The event was a belated celebration of the Forman Christian College (A Chartered University) (FCCU) awarding Dr Shera with an honorary Ph.D in arts and letters in recognition of his services to community relations and interfaith relations.

Cllr Carolyn Watson-Merret welcomed Dr Shera, representatives from the FCCU and prominent Pakistani community leaders in the UK to the Mayor's Parlour.

Dr Shera received the Ph.D in 2020 but the pandemic meant he was presented with the honour during a 'virtual' ceremony.

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Jonathan Addleton, FCCU's rector and president, and Dr Nayer Fardows, FCCU's registrar, took the opportunity to travel to Rugby to congratulate Dr Shera on his honorary Ph.D in person during a trip to the UK.

The delegation from the FCCU were joined at the town hall by Dr Peter David and Cllr Morris Johns, prominent Pakistani Christian leaders in the UK.

Cllr Watson-Merret said: "It was a pleasure to welcome Dr James Shera back to the town hall and invite the delegation for tea in the Mayor's Parlour.

"While Dr Shera's reputation in Rugby was forged during 40 years serving on the borough council, his dedication to promoting community and interfaith relations has had a real impact across the world, none more so than in the country of his birth, Pakistan.

"Dr Shera has received a host of honours over the years in recognition of his service, including being made an MBE, being awarded the prestigious Star of Pakistan and receiving the Freedom of the Borough, the highest honour the borough council can bestow.

"I'm delighted he now has an honorary Ph.D from the Forman Christian College (A Chartered University) and an honorary doctorate from Coventry University, awarded earlier this year, to add to his list of accolades."