Chris Pillai, a native of Seremban, Negeri Sembilan, was sworn in as mayor of Calderdale, West Yorkshire, in an official ceremony on May 19. He was elected as the first Malaysian-born Mayor of Calderdale, West Yorkshire, England, about 300 kilometres northeast of London.
Pillai, 70, was supposed to take over as district mayor in May of last year, but due to the pandemic, he could only serve as Mayor-Elect until now.
Due to local COVID-19 rules, he took the chain and robes of the Mayor’s Office for the Borough of Calderdale in West Yorkshire in a ceremony held at the Halifax Minster.
“I feel very honoured and privileged to be elected as the first non-English Malaysian Mayor of this historic town of West Yorkshire and would wish to carry out my duties in the best possible way to serve the Calderdale community”
Pillai has always been concerned about social, community, and health issues. Mr. and Mrs. Krishnapillai, his late parents, were enthusiastic supporters of his passion. Despite the fact that they were not in the same country, they never failed to encourage him from afar.
Beverley Pillai, the mayoress, has been by Pillai’s side for over 26 years. Throughout his community health and public office journey, she has been a pillar of strength for him. Beverley, who was born in England, works as a nurse at the Huddersfield Royal Infirmary. James, Jonathan, and George are their three sons.
Pillai and his family often visits Seremban for holidays at the same time catch-up with family and friends.
Pillai’s father worked for the Malayan Railways as a Senior Anti-Malarial Inspector, therefore the family relocated all over Malaysia every few years. He attended Methodist (ACS) Ipoh from 1958 to 1960, Methodist (ACS) Seremban from 1961 to 1966, and Methodist Boys School Kuala Lumpur from 1966 to 1970.
Finally, the family returned to Seremban and settled there, and then in 1971, Pillai moved to London, England, to study nursing.
The young lad then applied to study nursing in England with the intention of accepting any offer that came his way. Instead, he was truly fortunate to be accepted by London’s world-famous Moorfields Eye Hospital.
Pillai has held a variety of positions in the healthcare industry since then, including senior nurse at the Greenwich Area Health Authority in London (1984-1988), director/partner of Ivy House Nursing and Residential Home in Brighouse (1989-2004), and served as a non-executive director at the South West Yorkshire Mental Health Trust (2002-2006).
He was elected to Calderdale Council as a councillor in May 2011, after working for the Conservative Party since 1989. Pillai served as Deputy Mayor to Mayor Marcus Thompson (2018-2019) and Mayor Dot Foster on the Calderdale Council (2019-2021). Pillai and his wife Beverley attended over 70 civic events in their own right while serving as Deputy Mayor of Calderdale.
Pillai is also the Chairman of West Yorkshire’s Augustinians Cricket Club. Since Pillai took over as Chairman, the club has undergone substantial improvements.
He was successful in moving the club from Huddersfield, Kirklees, to Rastrick, Calderdale. He negotiated a 30-year lease on a 14-acre property and raised £80,000 (roughly RM467,015) in grants to help develop the club. Augustinians have joined the Halifax Cricket League and are currently in their seventh season.
It is a great honour to have our Malaysian-born, Chris Pillai take the oath of Mayor of a town in West Yorkshire, England.
Source: The Vibes