Service celebrates anniversary of UDR

Larne branch president of the Regimental Association, Maj Austin Heatley, chairman Nevillle Telford and colleagues at the UDR anniversary service in the Old Presbyterian Church of Larne and Kilwaughter. INLT 16-609-CON
Larne branch president of the Regimental Association, Maj Austin Heatley, chairman Nevillle Telford and colleagues at the UDR anniversary service in the Old Presbyterian Church of Larne and Kilwaughter. INLT 16-609-CON

A SPECIAL service has been held in Larne to mark 43rd anniversary of the formation of the Ulster Defence Regiment.

April 1, 1970 saw the formation of the UDR, which was soon to become the biggest regiment serving on peacekeeping duties in Northern Ireland.

The anniversary was celebrated on Sunday, April 7 at the Old Presbyterian Church of Larne and Kilwaughter, with an event organised by the Larne Branch of the Regimental Association, the Ulster Defence Regiment Conspicuous Gallantry Cross.

A guard of honour of the standard bearers and Rev Dr Paul Reid, chaplain to the branch, welcomed the congregation and guests headed by Lord Lieutenant for County Antrim, Joan Christie OBE.

One special guest who stole the limelight was baby Adam Jack McKay, who was baptised during the service. Presenting him with an inscribed Baptismal Bible, the Lord Lieutenant said it was “an absolute privilege” to be allowed to play an active role on the occasion, and congratulated the parents for this start to his religious life.

Rev Reid in his sermon paid tribute the sacrifices made by the regiment and said: “The baptism of baby McKay today is but one example of the success of the regiment, how by creating the opportunity for peace in our land made such events possible without the shadow of fear.”

The chairman of the Larne branch, Neville Telford thanked everyone for attending and helping to make the occasion such a success.

He complimented the choir and organist John Dooris for their part in leading the service, with a special word for Sam Brodison, guest bugler.