Poppy sellers award night success

THE annual award night for the local poppy sellers was held in the Royal British Legion Clubrooms on Thursday, February 14.

There was a good turn out of collectors and a light supper was served to show appreciation for their service and work throughout the year.

After the supper the Branch Chairman Mark McLaughlin said a few words of thanks to the collectors, Poppy Committee and Branch Committee for their work during Poppy Week.

The Branch Chairman then handed the proceedings to the Poppy Organiser Sue Pinkerton to say a few words and hand out certificates to those collectors with long service.

Those who received the certificates were: Jim Johnston (25 years), James Dobbin (20 years), Robert and Sheila McMaster (15 years), Stephen Clyde, Sue McKay, Janice McLaughlin and Alex Ingram (10 years).

Sue Pinkerton then thanked George and Mary Henry for the years that they have collected, but have now retired from Poppy Collecting and said that they would be missed.

She also thanked the collectors, shops, Army Cadets, Poppy Committee and the Branch Committee for their help in collecting so far this year £18,114.73.

Jim Hamilton from the British Legion Golfing Society then handed over a cheque for £500 to the Poppy Appeal from the Tournament they hold every year.

Proceeds were then handed to the President Major John Pinkerton to do a presentation to the past Chairman Col James Leslie to mark his service of 30 years to the Ballymoney Branch.

Major Pinkerton spoke of the time that Col Leslie had spent in East Africa working as a District Officer, then returning back to Ballymoney to Leslie Hill in the early 60s, where he started farming and serving in the TA and UDR, during the time of unrest in Northern Ireland.

He then took on the post of President of the Ballymoney Branch and held this post for 30 years before standing down last year. After the presentation Col Leslie said a few words of thanks.

The Branch Chairman then asked Major Pinkerton to present the members of the local Army Cadets with affiliation badges from the Ballymoney Branch of the RBL.

The Ballymoney Branch RBL and the Army Cadets have been affiliated for the last few years.

The night ended with the Vice Chairman Hugh Elliot saying a word of thanks to the RBL Womens’ Section, the Branch Committee for supplying the supper and setting up the hall for the night.

He also mentioned that the Annual Poppy Dance will be held in the RBL Clubrooms on Saturday, March 16 and hoped for a good turnout.