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.
The Lord-Lieutenant of County Antrim, Mr David McCorkell, laid a wreath on behalf of HM The Queen to commemorate the 104th Anniversary of the Battle of The Somme at the Carrickfergus War Memorial. In particular, the heroic contribution of the 36th Ulster Division was remembered.
The short Service of Remembrance was organised by the Carrickfergus Branch of the British Legion. The Mayor of Mid & East Antrim Borough Council, Councillor Peter Johnston, and representatives from Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service, the UDR and the Carrickfergus Branch of the British Legion also laid wreaths.
Social distancing was adhered to throughout the short ceremony.
To mark the first anniversary of the appointment of Mr David McCorkell as Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of County Antrim, we’ve done a socially distanced Q&A with him:
It’s been a year since your appointment, have you enjoyed it?
I can’t believe it’s been a year already, as the old saying goes: ‘time flies when you’re having fun’. It is such a pleasure, and a huge privilege, to serve as Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of this wonderful County. It has been unfortunate that this unforeseen lockdown has fallen in my first year, I really look forward to being able to get out and about in the County more as restrictions ease.
What have been the highlights?
There have been many highlights and obviously the Royal Visits are particularly special. My first visit was for The Open Championship at Royal Portrush. Watching Shane Lowry lift the famed claret jug after his masterclass in links golf was incredible. I was so proud to see Portrush on the world stage.
Meeting HM The Queen, at Buckingham Palace, was also a day that my wife and I will always treasure.
More generally, I’ve really enjoyed just getting out and meeting so many interesting people and learning about the incredible initiatives going on across the County.
What have your focuses been for your first year in office?
I was keen to bring the Lieutenancy into the 21st Century and increase our presence online to raise awareness and reach out to a new generation, by following the excellent example set by the Royal Households. We’ve a website now, which I hope acts as a useful point of reference.
We’ve also got a growing Twitter following (@ALieutenancy), which has been a great success. Whilst we can’t always share everything that’s going on in the Lieutenancy, it’s an excellent way to raise awareness of local causes, promote the Armed Forces and communicate key messages. It has really come into its own during lockdown.
What could the Lieutenancy do better?
It is important that the Lieutenancy remains relevant and approachable so we must continue to adapt and move with the times.
As a retired businessman, I would also like to see more applicants for the Queen’s Award for Enterprise and the Lieutenancy, with the support of the Councils, have a key role to play in raising awareness about this prestigious award.
We couldn’t do this without mentioning COVID19, what have you learnt from the pandemic?
I’ve learnt that volunteering is most definitely alive and well. It has been so inspiring to read all the selfless stories of all the volunteers and key workers. I’m very proud of the way the people of County Antrim have come together to care for each other. The voluntary sector remains under huge financial strain and we must all work together to make sure it can continue its vital contribution to our communities.
I’ve also learnt of the importance of being adaptable: I’ve found social media a particularly important way to communicate and by embracing technology it is still possible to attend meetings and take part in events virtually, like the VE Day Commemorations. It was wonderful to see HM The Queen take part in a Zoom call recently.
Finally, tell us something that people might not know about you?
I become a grandfather for the first time at the end of last year. Due to lockdown, my wife and I have found it frustrating not being able to play a bigger part in our Granddaughter’s first year as she lives in England.
The Lord-Lieutenant of County Antrim, Mr David McCorkell, took part in the virtual Service of Remembrance organised by Mid & East Antrim Borough Council to mark the 104th Anniversary of the Battle of the Somme and the significant contribution of the 36th Ulster Division.
As part of the commemoration, the Lord-Lieutenant laid a wreath at Knockagh War Memorial, Carrickfergus. He was joined by representatives from other County Antrim councils.
To watch the virtual Service of Remembrance, please click on the video below:
For further information, please visit the Council website by clicking here.
Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant of County Antrim, Mr David McCorkell, today raised the flag to mark the start of Armed Forces Week 2020, in Carrickfergus.
The event was organised by Mid & East Antrim Borough Council. Attendees also included the First Minister of Northern Ireland, the Mayor of Mid & East Antrim Borough Council and representatives from RFCA NI and the Armed Forces. Due to COVID19 restrictions, the event had to go ahead on a smaller scale than planned and strict social distancing was adhered to.
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