NI 100: Mid and East Antrim’s centenary celebrations programme a ‘huge success’
Almost 270 babies have been presented with centenary coins in a “hugely successful” Mid and East Antrim NI 100 programme.
In addition, 10 residents of the borough have received a certificate and coin in recognition of reaching their 100th birthday.
The figures were part of an update from the council’s Northern Ireland 100 Working Group, which was set up to take forward ideas and proposals to mark the 100th anniversary of Northern Ireland.
Chaired by Councillor Cheryl Brownlee, the group includes the Mayor, Councillor William McCaughey and Deputy Mayor, Councillor Matthew Armstrong, together with Councillors Danny Donnelly, Gregg McKeen and Keith Turner.
Councillor Brownlee said: “As well as marking the 100th anniversary of the creation of Northern Ireland, Council’s centenary celebrations have provided an opportunity to shine a light on all that is good about Mid and East Antrim and all that has been achieved by its citizens over the past 100 years,” she commented.
“To date, the celebrations have included a busy programme of events, exhibitions and community initiatives, all aimed at showcasing and championing culture, heritage, education, history, future prosperity and more. A further range of exciting activities will be delivered throughout the remainder of this year, in line with the latest Covid-19 guidelines.”
Paying tribute to Working Group colleagues, Councillor Brownlee continued: “The Working Group has collaborated with council’s elected members, officers and stakeholders to plan and implement a truly inclusive programme of events that delivers something for everyone in the borough, regardless of their background.
“The centenary celebrations have been a huge success to date, and I have no doubt that the remainder of the programme of activities planned for 2021 will aptly round of what has been a tremendous year of events for the borough.”
Over the centenary weekend three trees were planted in Larne, Carrickfergus and Ballymena and council’s centenary flag was flown above buildings in the three towns. Centenary floral displays have also been planted in flowerbeds throughout the borough.
Meanwhile, council’s ‘Looking Back to Look Forward: Mid and East Antrim 1921-2021’ was one of only 39 projects in the province awarded a grant through the Shared History Fund – a £1million fund distributed by the National Lottery Heritage Fund on behalf of the Northern Ireland Office. The project has included the commissioning of research and a history exhibition, alongside the creation of three time capsules and range of talks, walking tours and workshops.
Activities planned for the remainder of 2021 include a teddy bears’ picnic, a Castle Lumiere event at Carrickfergus Castle and a centenary fireworks display. Centenary stones will also be erected and trees planted in towns and villages across the borough.
For more information about council’s NI 100 events, visit: https://www.midandeastantrim.gov.uk/NI100
Click here to read: Larne’s NI centenary tree ‘a living and lasting legacy’
Thank you for reading this article. We’re more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers. Please consider purchasing a copy of the paper. You can also support trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription of the News Letter.