A leading businessman and a lodge renowned for its charitable benevolence have been publicly recognised by the Orange Institution.
Fermanagh entrepreneur Roy Kells MBE was the recipient of a lifetime achievement award at this year’s Orange Community Awards, held in Lisburn on Friday evening.
Mr Kells, 81, is a former County Fermanagh Grand Master and a former UDR Lieutenant Colonel, who narrowly escaped death when a gunman fired at him through a shop window in 1981.
He is chairman and director of retailer SD Kells, one of Northern Ireland’s most successful and well-known family-run businesses.
Grand Master Edward Stevenson said: “This award is a well-deserved recognition for Roy’s entrepreneurial prowess, as well as his contribution to the provision of employment and the local economy generally, not only in his native Fermanagh, but across Northern Ireland.”
He added: “His brave and selfless service with the UDR is to be admired, all the more so given the harrowing direct attempt on his life.
“We also acknowledge Roy’s faithful support for the institution over the course of his 65-year membership.
“He is a most deserving recipient of this award.”
Members of Bible and Crown Defenders LOL 423, from Banbridge, received the Grand Master’s award in recognition of their charity endeavours, raising almost £170,000 for a number of worthy causes in recent years.
They were just some of the many individuals, as well as lodges and musicians, to be formally acknowledged by the loyal order.
Grand Master’s Award:
Banbridge Bible and Crown Defenders LOL 423.
Lifetime Achievement Award:
Roy Kells, Fawney Heroes LOL 329.
Best New Banner:
Aughnahoory Heroes LOL 343B.
Nico Mawhinney, Annaghmore LOL 2033.
Individual Community Involvement:
Peter Branker, Ballymacormick Purple Star LOL 793.
Lodge Community Involvement:
Garvaghy LOL 328.
Lodge Membership Increase:
Gertrude Street Defenders LOL 525.
Colin Tinsley, Fourscore LOL 340.
Joseph Magill, Lisnamulligan Purple Heroes LOL 436.
Inspirational Orangewoman of the Year:
Alicia Dickson-Hamilton, Star of Dromore WLOL 66.
Band of the Year:
Ravara Pipe Band.