Duke presents awards at Hillsborough Castle
by STACEY HEANEY
Laura with her mum Jayne at the
recent Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award Ceremony held at
Jane and her mother at the steps to
Buckingham Palace after the award ceremony in 1973.
THERE was special delight for one local
mother and daughter recently when they attended the Duke of
Edinburgh Award Scheme Gold presentation at Hillsborough Castle.
Laura Johnston, who lives in Hillsborough,
was honoured to receive her Gold Award Prince Philip.
The event, however, brought back many
memories for her mother Jayne, who received the same award -
again from the Duke - at Buckingham Palace 35 years before.
Jayne explained: "I got mine at Buckingham
Palace in 1973. When we received ours it was at the height of
the troubles and they made a special point for us by holding the
ceremony in London, however Hillsborough is much nicer than
Buckingham Palace, it's more relaxed."
She continued, "When we were at the ceremony
someone mentioned to the Duke that I was a Gold Award holder and
he was particularly interested to hear about it. He seemed
intrigued to hear that he had personally presented my award to
Jayne, 53, was 19 when she received her Award,
having completed it through the Fort Hill Awards Scheme when she
was a pupil at Fort Hill College. She has spent 35 years working
in the Royal Victoria Hospital, where she currently holds a
senior position in Paediatric Cardiology.
21-year-old Laura obtained her Bronze, Silver
and Gold Awards through the Lisburn District Scouts Open Award
Centre, associated with Harmony Hill Presbyterian Church.
As part of her award Laura studied fire service
for her Community Service, completed team work on expedition in
Donegal, passed her driving test for Skill and undertook running
for her Physical Recreation. She has also recently completed her
BSc Hons Degree in Geography at Queen's University, Belfast and
is now hoping to take another degree in Quantity Surveying.
Jayne spoke of her delight for her daughter, "I
was very excited for her. It's an excellent award to have and it
looks good on a CV," she said.
"It was five years of hard work of service and
activities, hut it's really worth it."