Cheers and toasts as Principal
gets the MBE
FOR once no-one minded when the children of
St Joseph's Primary in Crumlin cheered loudly when they got into
school on Monday - because it was a very special day.
They were cheering their principal of 11
years, Mrs Catherine Wegwormer, who had been awarded the MBE in
the Queens Birthday Honours for Services to Education in
Mother-of-three Mrs Wegwermer was treated like
royalty herself when she got into school. Teachers greeted her
with a light hearted surprise party. One dressed up as a
beefeater, and a red carpet was set out to walk on. They rounded
off the celebrations with teachers toasting her in some non
alcoholic bucks fizz
Mrs Wegwermer has been teaching for the past
30 years said that she was 'deeply honoured' yet puzzled cecause
she still does not know who nominated her for such a prestigious
St Joseph's has had many successes since she
became principal over a decade ago but Mrs Wegwermer says the
credit for its success is down to teamwork.
"It is a great honour but we have a very
strong network of teachers, staff and the community who have all
helped make St Joseph's what it is today," she said. "Education
is very important to us and the success is all down to the
commitment by teachers and staff - and there is always great
loyalty and commitment from the children.
"I must also give credit to the Board of
Governors and the Department of Education." Among the many
successes St Joseph's has enjoyed are the Best Practise
Organisation in 2007 (a recognition of Emotional Intelligence),
the first school in the North Eastern Education Board to receive
funding for extended schools, the Investors in People Award (IIP),
shortlisted for the Best Place to Work Award (Irish News) and a
UNICEF award as a Right Respecting School.
Formerly vice principal of Park Lodge, where
she spent 19 years, Mrs Wegwermer became principal at St
Joseph's in 1997.
She is married to Michael and they have three
children Anna, Rachel and Ruth.
Lisburn woman honoured for lifetime of service
SENIOR citizen from Lisburn has been awarded the MBE for
voluntary service to the community in Northern Ireland in the
Queen's Birthday Honours list.
Miss Elizabeth Hill, 85, said the recognition
was very unexpected.
"I never thought I would get it. It means a
lot to me and I really appreciate it. All my immediate family
have passed away but my friends are delighted for me" she said.
Elizabeth, of Old Manor House, worked at
Blackstaff on the Springfield Road in the wages office before
moving to the accounts department of Bridgeport Brass factory on
the Ballinderry Road.
She has been connected with Magheragall
Parish Church all her life. Not only was she a Sunday School
teacher but also held the office of both Treasurer and
Secretary, was a member of the Select Vestry and the Conor
Diocesan and served on the General Synod. She has also been a
member of the Ulster Unionist party for over 60 years and was
the Treasurer of the Lagan Valley branch for many years.
Talking about her recognition Elizabeth said
that she has always enjoyed helping others.
"It keeps me busy and gives me a lot of
pleasure and satisfaction" she said.
Elizabeth still continues to volunteer her
time and is the Treasurer of Magheragall Senior Citizens Club
and even attends computer classes.
"I would like to thank whoever put my name
forward for the honour - it means a lot to me."
A self - confessed Royalist, Elizabeth says
she is looking forward to receiving her honour and meeting the
Photographer John snaps up an
could well be more than a glimmer of recognition in the eye of
the Queen when she presents Lisburn photographer John Harrison
with the MBE he received in last weekend's Birthday Honours
For the proprietor of Harrison Photography,
who said he was both 'surprised and delighted' to receive the
accolade, has photographed the Monarch on many occasions.
The Royal connection started with the Queen's
Silver Jubilee Visit to the University of Ulster at Coleraine in
the Summer of 1977.
John, who is currently the Northern Ireland
Press Photographer Association's Chairman, was just 17 at the
time and a Junior Photographer with the Ballymena Guardian, part
of the Northern Newspaper Group. His coverage of the Royal visit
was used on the front page of every one of the Group's
newspapers - a major achievement for such a young photographer.
This period in John's life proved to be a strong foundation for
a career which has seen him rise to the top of his profession.
He said he could not have managed without the support provided
at the time by his parents Ann and Frank "I will always be
grateful for the help they gave me," he added.
John joined Pacemaker Press International in
1983 and already had considerable experience covering everything
from dinner dances to political rallies as well as the tragic
aftermath of many terrible acts of violence carried out during
On his first day he was assigned to cover a
shooting in the Newtownabbey area and the picture appeared on
front pages both locally and nationally.
A dream of going into business for himself
was realised in 1994 when he formed John Harrison Photography.
His aim was to specialise in public relations
type photographs using his newspaper skills to provide a service
for clients such as PR companies and Government Departments.
He was appointed Official Photographer for
three visits to Northern Ireland by Bill Clinton; the Queen's
Golden Jubilee visit; Prime Minister Tony Blair's visits and
President George Bush's summit with Mr. Blair at Hillsborough
Castle in 2003.
John, who has won many prestigious awards during his career,
also worked on high profile assignments with the Northern
Ireland First and Deputy First Ministers to Washington, St Louis
and Brussels as well as Economic Development Ministerial trips
Initial letter`quite a shock'
woman Catherine McKeever said she was 'delighted' to receive an
OBE in the Queen s birthday honours list.
Catherine, who is Director of Quality at
Bombardier Aerospace in Belfast, admitted she was shocked when
she heard the news.
The initial letter came as quite a shock to
me, but I am delighted to have been awarded an OBE. It's a great
honour to receive such recognition" she said. Catherine, who is
married with three children, graduated from Queen's University
with a BSc in Mechanical Engineering and joined Bombardier in
1983. Over the years she has held various positions and has
worked in a number of locations including Montreal.
Her current role involves leading the team
responsible for developing and strengthening the effectiveness
of the company's Quality System to ensure the quality of all
products and services delivered complies with regulatory
requirements and is to customers' satisfaction.
Catherine was the inaugural chairperson of
the Northern Ireland Aerospace Consortium. She is a past
chairperson of WISE (Women into Science, Engineering and
Construction) in Northern Ireland and received the UK National
Ambassador Award from WISE in 2004.
Catherine also gives talks and presentations
to young women, encouraging them to consider careers in
engineering and technology. She is a fellow of the Institute of
Mechanical Engineers and an honorary fellow of the Royal
man delighted to receive OBE
man John Cooke has spoken of his delight after he received an
OBE for his work as the Head of Near Market Research and
Development with Invest Northern Ireland.
And he paid tribute to the contribution of
his colleagues, whose work developing businesses across Northern
Ireland, he said, helped him to receive the honour.
John commented: "It is an honour to receive
this recognition for the contribution made by myself and my
colleagues at Invest Northern Ireland in encouraging local
companies to place research and development at the core of their
"Creativity and new product development are
key to the sustained success of businesses, and we must continue
to ensure that Northern Ireland companies embrace the concept of
innovation in order to gain a competitive advantage in dynamic
John has made a significant contribution to
public service during his career to date, particularly in
promoting research and development (R&D) and innovation to
Northern Ireland businesses.
He has been responsible for changing business
attitudes to R&D and encouraging a focus on new product and
process development as a key source of competitiveness. In his
present role as manager of the Compete programme, Invest
Northern Ireland's flagship programme for R&D, he has been
responsible for supporting over 650 companies and over £82m of
business investment in R&D. John has achieved considerable
success in raising R&D expenditure over the last ten years,
particularly amongst SMEs, thereby stimulating the growth of
technology-based businesses in Northern Ireland. He has also
been an active ambassador in developing awareness of the
importance of innovation in Northern Ireland, both to the
business community and the wider public sector.