A unique sculpture of a First World War one Soldier was unveiled at Ballymoney Cenotaph recently.
In the centenary year of the outbreak of the First World War, the local community met at the High Street Cenotaph for the dedication of a commemorative statue by the Mayor’s Chaplain, Rev. Frances Bach. It was a very emotional moment as people stood to remember the brave and selfless men from these islands, and particularly those of the Ballymoney district, who went off to fight for king and country, many of whom died, or carried - ever after - the deep scars of injury or distress from that grim conflict.
The majority of the Council’s guests were those from businesses, groups and individuals who generously donated to the appeal fund, launched by Ballymoney & District Cultural Heritage Society. Many from the local community also joined the commemoration event.
An inscription on a granite plaque at the foot of the bronze sculpture reads; “In memory of the men and women from Ballymoney and District who answered their country’s call”
The sculpture project cost £30,000. Council contributed £20,000 with the remaining monies contributed by local businesses, groups and individuals, and funds raised through street collections and fundraising events.
Speaking at last Monday’s Council meeting, members congratulated Ballymoney Borough Council and the local community on an excellent day.
Cllr John Finlay said: “It was an excellent day and a delight to unveil the sculpture that this borough and it’s citizens had paid for. Over £12,000 was raised by the local community which is an amazing achievement and great to see this community so involved. In 100 years time people will be saying ‘this is what the people of Ballymoney did’, its a lasting legacy.
“I would like also to thanks Sammy McClements and Noel Anderson for their hard work as well as Liz Johnston for bringing it all together.”
Many councillors reiterated Cllr Finlay’s comments, praising such ‘a successful day’.