The run-up to Remembrance Sunday was unfortunately very different this year due to COVID19. The Lieutenancy were unable to undertake the normal number of engagements throughout the County and any engagements that did happen were smaller, socially distanced events with only the minimum number of attendees.
On 6th November, the Lord-Lieutenant of County Antrim, Mr David McCorkell, attended a small service of remembrance in the Garden of Remembrance, Carrickfergus, and laid a wreath on behalf of HM The Queen. He also planted a cross to honour the North Irish Horse (Now B Sqn, Scottish & North Irish Yeomanry).
On Remembrance Sunday, 8th November 2020, wreaths were laid in the following locations:
It was fantastic to be allowed to have the Lord-Lieutenant Cadets able to attend. It has been a very difficult year for this year's cadets due to the disruption caused by COVID19. Congratulations to Emma Ellison, of Larne detachment, 1st (NI) Bn ACF, on her recent promotion to Cadet Sergeant Major.
The delayed Queen's Birthday Honours, which were due to be released in June, were announced today along with the COVID Honours list.
We are delighted to report that 28 people in County Antrim received national honours.
The Full Honours list can be viewed on the London Gazette website by clicking here or by accessing the following link:
The Lord-Lieutenant of County Antrim, Mr David McCorkell, was delighted to welcome HRH The Earl of Wessex to Lisburn today.
HRH, as Royal Colonel, firstly visited the 2nd Bn The Rifles, at Thiepval Barracks, Lisburn.
The Lord-Lieutenant then received HRH afterwards at Lisburn City Church Community Trust, 1 Graham Gardens, to recognise their efforts during COVID-19.
HRH then visited Unicorn Group, The Green, Riverbank, Tullynacross Road, Lisburn. Unicorn Group, which manufactures a range of washroom products, medical bins for hospitals and floor tiles, welcomed HRH The Earl of Wessex to its Lambeg headquarters today where it has ramped up production of its Pursan alcohol hand cleansing product in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The visit saw HRH tour the factory and learn about the manufacturing process behind the company’s flagship product as well as discovering the other elements of the market that Unicorn Group has successfully developed over its history.
Established over 20 years ago, Unicorn Group employs more than 80 staff and exports its extensive portfolio of products including hand and surface hygiene range, washroom products, medical and recycling bins, vending machines and floor tiles globally.
A surge in demand for hand cleanser during the current pandemic has seen the firm increase production of its Pursan product range, primarily its 70% alcohol hand cleanser.
Speaking about the visit, Roger Pannell, CEO of Unicorn Group said: “It was an honour to meet HRH The Earl of Wessex and show him round the facility. It was the perfect antidote to the pressures and uncertainty that have come hand in hand with this pandemic.
“Our staff have worked tirelessly over the past six months to ensure our increased demand is met, against a backdrop of challenges that have left no business or home untouched. Their commitment across the Group has been a huge help during this difficult time. Being able to showcase their efforts to HRH The Earl of Wessex was a moment of pride and gratitude for Unicorn Group.
HRH completed the day with an engagement in County Down.
The Lord-Lieutenant of County Antrim, Mr David McCorkell, was delighted to welcome HRH The Prince of Wales to County Antrim today. The Lord-Lieutenant greeted HRH in Mallusk, Newtownabbey, on his arrival to see Henderson Foodservices, where he learned about some of the fantastic work that has been undertaken during COVID-19.
The visit was part of a day trip to Northern Ireland by TRHs The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall. TRHs also undertook engagements in Belfast and at Hillsborough Castle.
The Lord-Lieutenant of County Antrim, Mr David McCorkell, joined the Northern Irish Branch of the National Malaya & Borneo Veterans Association to lay wreaths of remembrance in Lisburn today. The event was organised by Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council.
Also in attendance:
The Mayor said “With 75 years gone by since the end of the war, I’m privileged to be here today to pay tribute to these men and women, including our own local hero - Professor Frank Pantridge. Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council is privileged to continue to work very closely with the Malaya and Borneo Veteran’s Association and the Pantridge Trust. Today we remember the National Malaya Borneo Veterans who served alongside Professor Pantridge to give our country a better future. We commemorate them for their fortitude and invincible courage.”
Professor Pantridge grew up in Hillsborough. He served in the Royal Army Medical Corps as a lieutenant in WW2 and was awarded a Military Cross during the Fall of Singapore when he became a POW. He returned to Northern Ireland in 1950 and transformed medical history with his invention of the portable defibrillator.
In 1990, Professor Pantridge was awarded the honour of Freeman of the Borough by what was then Lisburn Borough Council. It is the highest honour the council can bestow and was given for his contribution to worldwide mobile coronary care.
For more information, please see the Council's article by clicking here.
The Lord-Lieutenant of County Antrim, Mr David McCorkell, has written to Major John Pinkerton, TD, DL, to wish him a very happy 75th birthday. John retires today as a Deputy Lieutenant of County Antrim having served for over 4 years. He was appointed in 2016 by Mrs Joan Christie, CVO, OBE. John also served as High Sheriff of County Antrim in 2015.
The Lord-Lieutenant said "I would like to express my sincere thanks to John for his service and all he has done for the County. I send him my best wishes for a long and happy retirement".
The Lord-Lieutenant of County Antrim, Mr David McCorkell, and Mrs Julia Shirley, DL, represented the Lieutenancy at ceremonies to raise the red ensign for Merchant Navy Day in Larne and Newtownabbey respectively.
The ceremonies were organised by Mid & East Antrim Borough Council and Antrim & Newtownabbey Borough Council and attended by their respectives Mayors and other representatives from the Councils.
In Larne, other special guests included Northern Ireland Executive Junior Minister Gordon Lyons MLA and the Port of Larne Harbour Master, Mr Stuart Wilson. The flag-raising ceremony took place and messages were read by the Lord-Lieutenant from the Earl of Wessex and the Admiral The Right Honourable The Lord West of Spithead GCB, DSC, PC.
The annual event supports a nationwide call from the Seafarers UK charity and the Merchant Navy Association for the UK Merchant Navy’s official flag to be flown on public buildings and landmark flagpoles.
It was a very busy few days in the run up to the 75th Anniversary of VJ Day on Saturday. VJ Day marked the victory over Japan on 15th August 1945 and signified the end of WW2.
There were events held across the County, which the Lord-Lieutenant of County Antrim, Mr David McCorkell, and the Vice Lord-Lieutenant, Mrs Miranda Gordon, DL, took part in.
Due to COVID19, all events were undertaken in accordance with social distancing requirements and many were held virtually, with wreath laying and speeches recorded in advance. Please see below to watch the video compiled by Mid & East Antrim Borough Council, which includes the Lord-Lieutenant laying a wreath in Carrickfergus and delivering a speech about VJ Day.
The Lieutenancy would like to thank Antrim & Newtownabbey Borough Council, Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council and Mid & East Antrim Borough Council for organising so many events across the County to mark this poignant anniversary. It was fantastic to see the Councils continue to embrace modern technology by providing virtual events so people could take part, even if they were unable to attend.
The Lieutenancy took part in the following VJ Day events:
For further information on the events held by the respective Councils, please click on the links below:
The Lord-Lieutenant of County Antrim, Mr David McCorkell, attended an event for the volunteers of St John’s Ambulance, from Mid and East Antrim, where they were presented with certificates by the Mayor at a special reception in Ballymena Showgrounds.
The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Peter Johnston, presented 41 Certificates for volunteers and four to the District Branches at the event for their work throughout the Covid-19 crisis. Also in attendance was the Regional Manager of St John's Ambulance Northern Ireland, William McCormick.
The Lord-Lieutenant said "St John has a long and prestigious history of assisting during a crisis and working with other key organisations to provide critical care. As the nation's leading health and first aid charity in Northern Ireland, staff were on the ‘front line’, yet again, alongside their colleagues in the Health and Social Care Trusts and the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) to provide much needed ambulance resources for patient transfers during the current epidemic.
That sense of service, teamwork and collaboration has undoubtedly been the light during the darkness of this pandemic. I would like to thank all the St John volunteers and staff who served so selflessly during this crisis, both on the front line and in the vital support roles."
For further information please see the Council's Press Release, by clicking here.
Colonel Norman Walker, OBE, TD, JP, DL represented the Lord-Lieutenant of County Antrim today in Carrickfergus to welcome the arrival of two of the Royal Navy's P2000 vessels on their summer deployment. HMS Biter and HMS Charger (P292) arrived from Scotland.
During the reception, it was announced that Armed Forces Day 2021 will be held in Carrickfergus. The Antrim Lieutenancy looks forward to hosting such a special day. Carrickfergus and County Antrim enjoy a long standing relationship with all of the Armed Forces.
Also in attendance was the Mayor of Mid & East Antrim Borough Council, Cllr Peter Johnston, Council Chief Executive, Anne Donaghy, and representatives from all three service branches of Her Majesty's Armed Forces.
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