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THE girlfriend of Belfast's Lord Mayor got a blast from the past when she was asked to become Lady Mayoress.

Co Antrim woman Sandra Armstrong literally experienced a case of deja vu when she first put on her chains in an official capacity.

And the pretty blonde has also revealed how the famous chains of the city's first citizen actually heralded her first meeting with the DUP's Sammy Wilson.

"He was Lord Mayor 14 years ago and his Lady Mayoress was Rhonda Paisley," said Sandra.

"I was in City Hall on a tour and they kindly brought us into their parlour.

"We were allowed to try on the chains of office. I was standing beside him wearing the Lady Mayoress chain, never thinking for a moment that I would one day be wearing it in an official capacity," she said.

The Burnside, near Doagh woman is thoroughly enjoying her claim to fame as first Lady Mayoress of the Millennium.

As Sammy's partner, Sandra, an NHS supplies purchasing manager, was the natural choice as Belfast's first lady.

Her role, which started in summer, involves as many as five engagements a week.

She said: "It's a tremendous honour and very enjoyable.

"Every event is special in its own way. Belfast is now hosting a lot of functions and conferences and these are keeping us busy.

"People from other countries really appreciate the formality of our roles and are also very impressed with City Hall."

Originally from Maghera, Sandra and Sammy were introduced several years ago by a mutual friend and romance blossomed.
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Author:Oliver, Joe
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Sep 17, 2000
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