Trust fund set to forge closer links with village school

Sir James Steele

Sir James Steele

A Trust Fund established in honour of a wartime Ulster general is set to form closer links with a local primary school.

The General Sir James Steele Memorial Trust Fund was set up in Ballycarry in the 1990s to commemorate the locally born military figure, who was the Staff Officer who signed the UK Mobilisation Order in 1939.

General Steele was born in Ballycarry in 1894 and served with distinction in both First and Second World Wars, rising to high rank within the army. He died in 1975 and his ashes are interred in the village’s Templecorran cemetery.

There is a memorial on the village green to the general, and a Trust Fund has been operating since the 1990s, providing small grants for young people serving the community in some way.

Now the Fund Trustees have decided to widen the remit of their operations to include support for pupils at Ballycarry Primary School.

In May the Trust will sponsor a trip for pupils to the Northern Ireland War Memorial in Belfast, where they will learn more about the Second World War, and there will also now be an essay or poetry prize each year, drawing on themes associated with General Steele.

An annual bus trip to a museum is also proposed in the future.

One of the senior Trustees, Mrs. Valerie Beattie, said that the aim was to ensure young people knew about the life and service of General Steele.

“I remember reciting a poem for General Steele when he came to open the village primary school and I was a pupil, it’s important that someone so significant in our past is not forgotten,” she said.

“All of the Trustees are delighted that we will be working with the primary school and supporting the school in this way,” she added.

Individual applications can still be made to the fund from those who have attended the school or been born in Ballycarry. Contact can be made through email at generalsteeletrust@gmail.com

There are eight Trustees of the Fund, Dr. David Hume MBE, Rev. Dr. John W. Nelson, Mrs. Valerie Beattie, Mrs. Carla McKeaveney, Mrs. Anne Kennedy, Mrs. Janetta Scott, Mrs. Dorothy Irvine and Mr. Raymond Delaney.