The future of Larne and Carrick Borough Councils’ mayoral chains, maces and swords has been decided by Mid and East Antrim Council.
At a meeting of the new local authority’s Policy and Resources committee on January 20 the new local authority determined the future of the historic ceremonial regalia, worth a combined total of over £187,250.
Mid and East Antrim is to adopt the 300-year old Carrickfergus Mace as its official mace to be used at AGMs and during high-profile civic engagements. When not in use, the £75,000 silver gilt mace will be on display at Carrickfergus museum.
The £1,000 Larne mace or £2,000 Ballymena mace will be employed for full Council meetings depending on the location of the meetings. The mace which is not in use will be placed on display in one of the borough’s museums or civic buildings.
The new Mid and East Antrim Council will also adopt Carrickfergus Borough Council’s sword, which is worth £50,000, as its official sword on “highly significant” civic occasions.
Both the Carrickfergus and Larne swords will be placed on display in museums or at civic buildings when not in use.
The committee also determined the future of the chains of office for the Mayor, Mayoress and Deputy Mayor’s chains from the three constituent councils.
Larne’s nine carat gold Mayor’s chain is worth £40,000 while the gold Carrickfergus chain is worth £25,000. Ballymena’s silver gilt chain is worth £15,000. In addition, the Larne Deputy Mayor’s silver gilt chain is worth £11,500 and the Mayoress’ nine carat gold chain is worth £10,000. The Deputy Mayor for Carrickfergus’s chain is worth approximately £25,000 while the the value of the mayoress’ chain is also approximately £25,000.
The Committee voted to source new chains of office depicting the new Mid and East Antrim coat of arms, and asked the Chief Executive to prepare a business case.
It is hoped the new chains would be donated by a sponsor or benefactor. In the interim, the newly-elected Mayor, Deputy Mayor and Mayoress of Mid and East Antrim Council will select an existing chain of office for use. The chains not in use will be placed on display in museums or in civic buildings around the borough.
The condition of the 60 red velvet ceremonial robes worn by the Mayors, Aldermen and Councillors of the three predecessor Councils is to be reviewed at the beginning of February. While some robes could be reused for the new Council, others may be put on public display. Members’ proposals will be considered at the February Policy and Resources committee meeting.