Her Majesty the Queen has chosen Yang Sing restaurant legend Kui Man Gerry Yeung OBE DL of Heaton Moor, Stockport to be the High Sheriff of Greater Manchester for 2017-2018.
Gerry was born in Guangzhou, China and came to Manchester as a teenager with his family, completed his education in UK and joined the family business, Yang Sing Restaurant, at its inception.
The success of the restaurant and its great popularity gave him an opportunity to become a real part of the community of Manchester. He has great affection for and pride in his adopted home. In fact, he now describes himself as a Chinese Mancunian!
The Queen, in her role as Duke of Lancaster, made the decision in the ancient traditional Pricking of the Lites ceremony on 8th March, when she used a silver bodkin to prick a hole next to her choice from parchment listing the names of those recommended to become High Sheriffs in the County Palatine of Lancashire.
The Mayor of Stockport, Councillor Chris Gordon, was very happy with the news and commented:
“I have known Gerry as a very supportive Deputy Lord Lieutenant on the Stockport Committee. He has an amazing record of charitable work and has been extremely active in working tirelessly in the cause of cultural cohesion in the Greater Manchester community. His regular presence at Stockport’s Citizenship ceremonies is greatly appreciated and welcomed by all. I am extremely pleased that he has been recognised for this role as High Sheriff. He is a fine, genuine and generous man and this great honour is justly deserved.”
Gerry Yeung OBE DL, the High Sheriff in Nomination, welcomed the news from the Duchy of Lancaster and said:
“I am honoured and delighted to have been chosen to carry out this unique role by the Queen. My personal experience of life in Manchester and UK, has been nothing but positive. I have found that the words that are often used to describe British values: justice, fairness, tolerance and liberty are all true. We have a society with many fine institutions and traditions; as well as one with great diversity, generosity of spirit and civic pride. Manchester has been very good to me and my family and I am very much looking forward to my year of office and the opportunity to further serve Greater Manchester. I am extremely proud to be the custodian of this ancient office for the forthcoming year.”
Gerry has been actively involved in the commercial, educational, charitable and cultural life of the city of Manchester for many years. During which he has enjoyed a variety of roles with MOSI, the Prince’s Trust, MIDAS, Withington Girls’ School and The University of Manchester etc.
He is currently President of one of Manchester’s oldest charities, Disabled Living; as well as being an envoy for Manchester China Forum.
In 2003 he was honoured to become the first Chinese President of Manchester Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
He received honorary doctorates from University of Salford in 2005 and MMU in 2009, and was awarded The University of Manchester Medal of Honour in 2016.
As a respected member of the Chinese community, he often acts as their spokesman.
Gerry is married to Joanne, who with their son, Yin Pang, and daughter, So Yi, will support and share with him this very special year.
The Installation Ceremony will take place on 13th April 2017 at The Whitworth Hall in The University of Manchester.
History of the role of High Sheriff of Greater Manchester
The Office of the High Sheriff is the oldest secular office after the Crown and can be traced back more than 1,000 years to the reign of the Saxon King ‘Ethelred the Unready’ (978 – 1016).
High Sheriffs were appointed to act as the Sovereign’s representative in their County, historically referred to as a Bailiwick, where they wielded great power. For example, they sat in judgement at trials and were responsible for general law and order in the County. They could even raise a ‘posse’ in pursuit of criminals.
One of the more unpalatable duties of High Sheriffs was to organise and attend public executions and ensure that they were properly performed, which continued until the abolition of the death penalty in 1965.
The High Sheriff’s powers also included responsibility for raising and collecting taxes, which they had to account for at the Court of Exchequer in London, a significant and often unpopular task.
High Sheriff’s are mentioned in 27 of the 63 clauses of the Magna Carta (1215) and by the end of the 13th century they were fundamental to the running of the Counties.
However, over the centuries, the role of High Sheriff has gradually changed and is now essentially symbolic, ceremonial and unpaid. Many of their former duties are now vested in the Lord Lieutenants, High Court Judges, Coroners, Magistrates, the Police and Local Authorities. The modern role of High Sheriffs is defined by guiding principles and key objectives which are:
– To uphold and lend active support to the principal organs of the Constitution:
The Royal Family, the Judiciary, the Police and other law enforcement agencies, the Emergency Services, Local Authorities and all recognised Church and Faith Groups
– To assure the welfare of visiting High Court Judges, to attend on them at Court and to offer them hospitality
– To support and encourage the Voluntary Sector
– To support the lord Lieutenant on Royal visits and on other occasions as appropriate
In England, Wales and Northern Ireland the High Sheriff is theoretically the sovereign’s judicial representative in the county.