|Veterans with the Deputy Mayor, Alderman Paul Porter and Councillor Jonathan Craig. The Rotary Club of Lisburn was represented on the evening by Mr. Dale Orr, (Second Vice President), Mr. David Browne, (Secretary), and Messrs Brian Burke, George Christy and Liam McCartney.|
EARLIER this year, before the government eventually decided to provide funding for D Day Veterans to return to Normandy, I made an appeal to business interests in Lisburn to help with funding to enable D Day Veterans to return free of charge - in this 65th Anniversary year of the D Day Landings -to the places where they had fought in June 1944. The Rotary Club of Lisburn came forward to say that they would respond to my appeal by giving money to the project. As it happened, the government eventually provided some funding through the National Lottery - but Lisburn Rotary Club nevertheless provided the funding to cover costs the National Lottery Fund did not offer to the veterans. And Mrs. Sheila Gibson from Finaghy also came forward with financial help, having both made a personal donation and also raised money for the project.
When the D Day tour was over, there was still an amount of money which the Rotary Club of Lisburn had allocated to the project, but which had not been needed for the tour.
I talked with Mr. Dale Orr, Second vice President of Lisburn Rotary and we decided that with the Rotary Club's encouragement I would organize in the autumn a dinner for those D Day Veterans who would have like to have travelled to Normandy, but who, for a variety of reasons, were not able to do so.
That dinner was held recently at Edenmore Golf and Country Club. Nine veterans were invited to the evening dinner, and eight of them were able to attend, each accompanied by a family member. For the veterans it was a marvellous evening of reminiscing and fellowship together. A lovely meal was served by Mrs. Cherry Logan's staff at Edenmore. The Deputy Mayor of Lisburn, Alderman Paul Porter and Councillor Jonathan Craig called in for a time and brought the veterans greetings and thanks from the wider community.
I record publicly my thanks, and that of the veterans, to The Rotary Club of Lisburn - with special thanks to Mr. Dale Orr, Second President of the Club.