Three local people have been recognised in the Queen’s New Year Honours list.
Margaret Mayne, who has been a member of the Board of Governors at Banbridge High School for the past 26 years, serving the last 18 as Chairperson, has been awarded an MBE for services to education.
Mrs Myrtle Meeke has been named a Medallist of the Order of the British Empire for services to the community in Dromore.
And Dromore man Michael McGreevy has also been named a Medallist of the Order of the British Empire for services to Sport and the community as coach at Dromore Athletics Club.
In addition to serving on Banbridge High’s Board of Governors, Mrs Mayne also sat for over 25 years on the SELB’s post-primary independent appeal tribunals.
“It (the MBE) came as a total surprise and I just feel very humbled by the honour,” she commented.
Mrs Mayne, whose father Harris Cummings was principal of Loughbrickland Primary School and was also awarded an MBE in 1968, continued: “The thing that is so important to me as a governor and chair of the Board of Governors is that every child is entitled to the education that suits their needs.
“That is very important and Banbridge High is focused on just that. The school has a great headmaster, great staff and our motto is ‘Leading to success.’ Every child that comes through the doors of Banbridge High School gets the right education to help them realise their potential.”
Mrs Mayne, who started at Banbridge High as a first-year pupil in 1964, was the school’s first ever Head Girl.
Commenting on the New Year awards for herself and fellow Banbridge High School governor Mr Sam Hoey, winner of the Queen’s Police Medal, she said: “I am just extremely proud of Banbridge High School.”
Dromara woman, Mrs Myrtle Meeke has had an active role in the Artana Women’s Institute for the past 45 years, she is currently the president which is her sixth time holding that role. She told the Leader that this BEM is an award for the WI.
She said: “I’m very pleased and I think it is an honour for the WI as well as myself. I was shocked to say the least and a bit surprised. I couldn’t tell anybody about it, so I have had to keep it to myself.”
Myrtle, a music teacher, played the organ for 27 years at First Dromara Presbyterian Church - where she was also a Sunday school teacher for 54 years, 28 of which she was superintendent.
She also had prominent roles in the Women’s Institute including being a member of the Executive of Women’s Institutes of Northern Ireland from 1988 to 1991.
She added: “The phone hasn’t stopped since the news broke on Saturday.
Michael McGreevy has been involved with Dromore AC for 33 years and said that this recognition is an honour for the entire club.
He said: “I definitely wasn’t expecting it (the award) and it was certainly nice surprise.
“I think it’s is an honour for the club and it is an award for all members, past and present including the original founding members.
“I would like to thank all those who nominated me. I would also like to thank those who sent messages of congratulations I appreciate everyone of them.
“It’s nice to receive this and it is recognition for everybody who gives up their time to help in sport.”