TWO long-serving members of Dromore's Royal British Legion Women's Section recently met Princess Anne after they were honoured with invitations to a garden party in Hillsborough.

Mrs. Norma McClune and Mrs. Sally Weir met the Princess Royal at Government House, where the Dromore Women's Section was praised for its contribution to fundraising efforts that have seen Northern Ireland notch up the highest total in donations for the past 12 years.

Branch treasurer, Mrs. McClune and secretary Mrs. Weir, who is also welfare officer for the ex-servicemen's widows in the area, have both held office with the local branch for many years, picking up an array of awards certificates at both district and national level.

They have been repeatedly honoured for their outstanding contribution and invaluable assistance to the Royal British Legion Women's Section.

The invitation from Secretary of State Shaun Woodward to attend the garden party came at time when the thoughts of the local Women's Section contingent have been with the British Army overseas.

Said Mrs. Weir, "We have been saddened by the loss of so many of our young men serving abroad and we are thinking especially of Captain Harry Parker, who has been severely injured.

"Captain Parker's father, Lieutenant General Nick Parker, was the GOC (General Officer Commanding) here in Northern Ireland two years ago and while here he was a guest speaker at our district conference; he was very supportive of our work in the Royal British Legion Women's Section."

It was with that in mind that the two women attended the event, where Mrs. Joanne Andrew-Steer, President of the Royal British Legion Women's Section in Northern Ireland, presented them to Princess Anne.

"She (the Princess) chatted to us," said Mrs. Weir, "and congratulated the Dromore Women's Section on its hard work and the amount of funds raised by such a small branch."

On what was to be a very special day for both women, they also spoke with Lady Leonora Lichfield, widow of Royal Photographer, the late Lord Lichfield.

"She has a great interest in the Women's Section," said Mrs. Weir, "as her mother, the Duchess of Westminster, who resided at Crum Castle, was a member of the Enniskillen branch."