Ulster awards recognise community work

Mrs Hilda Trueman, Dungannon Road, Portadown, who has received a BEM in the Queen's New Year's Honours

Mrs Hilda Trueman, Dungannon Road, Portadown, who has received a BEM in the Queen's New Year's Honours


Northern Ireland continues to punch far above its weight when it comes to the New Year Honours, as the names of 79 new recipients were revealed yesterday.

They had all made outstanding contributions in fields from enterprise and entertainment to sport and security.

And despite Northern Ireland only having about 2.9 per cent of the UK population, its recipients made up 6.6 per cent of the total honours – something which is in keeping with previous years.

As always, a very large proportion of those receiving an award were being honoured for voluntary and community work.

Among them is Kate Elliott, founder of Good Morning Ballycastle.

The service was created in 2007 with the help of the town’s Catholic, Anglican and Presbyterian churches, and essentially involves volunteers phoning around elderly residents in the region to offer them some conversation and remind them about appointments.

The 61-year-old said their 27 volunteers currently have more than 100 “on their books”, ranging from Bushmills to Cushendall and across the Glens.

Her award is a BEM for “services to the community in Ballycastle”. At first, when her husband rang her about a mysterious envelope arriving from Westminster, she thought it was some kind of prank.

“I said: ‘open it up and see who’s writing to me from the Cabinet Office’. I thought it was a joke, you know?

“I’m absolutely over the moon. Delighted. But not only delighted for me, but for Good Morning Ballycastle.”

Another of the many recipients being recognised for serving their community was Young Farmers’ Club (YFC) of Ulster board member Barbara Blair.

She has been honoured with a British Empire Medal (BEM) for “services to young people in Northern Ireland”, and at 30 is the youngest recipient.

Barbara joined her local YFC in Garvagh at 13, and later served on the committee of the Co Londonderry body.

Now living in Ballymoney, she eventually took a seat on the executive of the YFC’s Ulster board and that of the Rural Youth Europe group representing the UK and Ireland.

“I was shocked when I got the letter and I wasn’t sure it was real,” she said. “I suppose it’s nice for the organisation as a whole to get this recognition, and to have someone put forward for it, but lots of people give up their time.

“It is very much a rural youth organisation. There are so many different aspects within Young Farmers, there are so many things you can do, and I really enjoyed the drama side of things and got very involved in that and the competitions.”

Today, she said, the organisation is continuing to grow.

At the other end of the spectrum, it was announced yesterday that the oldest recipient in Northern Ireland in this batch of honours is 92-year-old Ruth Hilda Trueman.

The Portadown woman was given a BEM for “services to Drumcree Girls’ Brigade”, which she has been involved in since its inception in 1949.

She had said she would “try it for a year”, but decades later she is today the brigade’s president.

She declared herself very surprised at the award, and said: “Any work I’ve done, I’ve had much pleasure from it.

“I’ve had the pleasure of seeing girls grow up, mature and become young ladies, taking their place in the community. It was the last thing on my mind that I should receive an award.”

The list in full

l Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George:

Laurent Robert BEAUDOIN

l Commanders of the Order of the British Empire (CBE):

James Trevor HASLETT

Prof Patrick John MORRISON

l Officers of the Order of the British Empire (OBE):

Mrs Margaret BODEN

Mr Edwin Alexander DUNLOP

Dr Margaret du FEU

Mr William James HALLIDAY

Mrs Maire Fionnuala KERR

Dr Ernest Fergus LOGAN


Mrs Pauline Christina McCABE

Prof Mary Kathrine McCOLGAN


Mr Robert John McLEAN

Mrs Pauline SHEILDS

Dr Daniel TODD

l Diplomatic and Overseas OBE:

Prof James Henry McAdam

l Members of the British Empire (MBE):

Mr Samuel James BAILIE

Alderman Charles James BROWN

Mrs Kathleen Patricia BURNS

Mr Edward George CAMPBELL

Mrs Joan Patricia CARBERRY

Mr Edmund Patrick Gerard COCHRANE

Mr Robert Sidney COLHOUN


Mrs Joan Aileen DOHERTY D.L.


Mrs Kathleen FERGUSON

Mr Nigel Robert FINCH

Dr Claire Anne GILLIGAN

Mrs Catherine GLASS

Mr John Richard HADDEN

Mr William HASSARD


Mr Richard HILL

Mr Martin David HOWELL

Mr Timothy Edward HUSBANDS

Mrs Rosemary Julie JORDAN

Dr Davinder Kumar KAPUR

Mr Joseph David McAREE

Mrs Faye Ann McLEOD

Mrs Patricia Ann McQUILLAN

Ms Anna MOSS


Mr John McAdam NIVEN

Mrs Mary Patricia O’KANE

Mr William Ronald OLDCROFT


Mr John Stanley SMITH


Mrs Margaret WEIR

l British Empire Medal (BEM):

Mrs Barbara BLAIR

Mrs Maureen Jacqueline BRACHI


Mrs Karen CARSON

Mr Derek Henry CATNEY

Mr Simon Wright CLARKE

Mrs Irene Margaret CUMMING

Mrs Blanche CURRAN

Mrs Margaret DEERING


Miss Geraldine DUGGAN

Mrs Kathleen Veronica ELLIOTT

Miss Hazel Eleanor FLANNIGAN

Mrs Lynda Catherine HILL

Mrs Edna Florence HOWARD


Mr Robert Rollins MAYNE




Mr James Derek NEILL

Dr Albert Victor Eric ROBINSON

Mr Gordon SPEERS

Miss Ruth Hilda TRUEMAN

Miss Gillian Elizabeth WEBB

l Queen’s Police Medal

Alan Kenneth LITTLE

Gary Stephen McCLURE

Jeffrey Carson McCREADY


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