Mid and East Antrim Borough Council is to receive its own new coat of arms from the College of Arms in time to confer the first Freedom of the Borough on B Squadron North Irish Horse in January.
At a council meeting in The Braid on Monday October 5, Councillor Jim Brown queried whether the coat of arms of Mid and East Antrim Borough would be ready to go on the scroll which would be presented to the organisation, describing the coat of arms as “an essential element to proceedings.”
MEA Borough Council Chief Executive Anne Donaghy revealed that after contacting the College of Arms, the coat of arms would be “ready to go to press” in January.
The council discussion took place in relation to a letter from the Honorary Colonel of the North Irish Horse Melfort Campbell OBE, who said that the squadron was “delighted” at the recognition from the council and thanked them for the honour.
“We very much look forward to receiving it formally and will ensure the most robust attendance from across the Regiment to support B Squadron on what will now become a major occasion within their most recent history,” he stated.
“I would be grateful if you would pass on my sincere thanks to the council on behalf of both B Squadron and the wider regiment,”
Mrs Donaghy said that at a meeting with the North Irish Horse, officials had said they were “pleased and honoured” to receive the honour and to be selected as the first group to do so in the new borough. She added that she and the Mayor were planning to set up a team of officers to take up the planning of the event and to decide the most appropriate date.
Mrs Donaghy said that she had previously organised a Freedom of the Borough event for Ballymena Borough Council and that she would bring to bear her experience to ensure that the Mid and East Antrim occasion would be a “prestige and memorable event.”
The Chief Executive added that she would bring back regular reports to council to update them on the progress of the event. The North Irish fought in both world wars, seeing action at the Somme and Ypres and helping to break the Hitler Line.