A Cross and Passion nun has been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to peace and reconciliation in Larne.
Sister Olcan, formerly known as Annie Grace Watt, is now retired from her role at Drumalis Retreat Centre.
In recent years, she and her colleague Sister Katherine Kealy worked tirelessly from their retreat centre with their colleagues in Drumalis.
The Tuesday Group, an inter-denominational group of local clergy and lay members, was formed at Drumalis following the ceasefire in 1994.
Rev Dr Colin Mc Clure, minister of First Larne Presbyterian Church congratulated Sr. Olcan saying: “ Sister Olcan, is so deserving and yet so humble.
“Throughout many of the most difficult years for our community, Sister Olcan and her colleague Sister Katherine Kealy acted with a grace and determination offering a deep friendship that brought healing and comfort to individuals from all traditions.
“They epitomised hope, which overcomes despair and love, which overcomes suspicion. We have been emboldened to keep journeying in Christian neighbourliness and understanding.”
Catherine Black, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s community liaison added: “Sister Olcan, along with her colleague Sister Katherine, have been involved in and influenced many meetings, activities and projects over the years
“This has made a significant contribution to promoting good relations in the town of Larne and beyond and was recognised by the Council in the acknowledgment they both received as part of a volunteer recognition scheme.”
Sister Olcan is also honorary president of Larne YMCA.
General secretary Joy McNally commented: “ I met Sister Olcan and her colleague Sister Katherine, over 20 years ago when they attended an anti-sectarianism workshop held in Larne YMCA. This was the beginning of a long connection with them through their various roles in the Larne community such as The Tuesday Group.”
and Larne Millennium Initiative and then through Sr Olcan’s role as Board Member and latterly Honorary President of Larne YMCA. We are delighted that our President Sister Olcan has been honoured in this way.’