Leading figures in the Royal British Legion in the north and south have hailed Coleraine Borough Council for organising last week’s Royal visit to perfection.
Speaking at the conclusion of the civic reception in Coleraine Town Hall, Colonel Mervyn Elder, the President of the Royal British Legion in Northern Ireland, said: “I would like to thank Coleraine Borough Council for having the Royal British Legion as a centrepiece for the start of their celebrations. Great credit must go to you and I assure you of the support of The Royal British Legion throughout the journey you take over the next few months.
“It really has been a tremendous pleasure for all my comrades to be here and to share in this wonderful occasion in the presence of our national patron, Her Majesty the Queen. We will all remember this day.”
Colonel Elder congratulate and thanked all of the Council staff, “particularly Tara Cunningham who I feel should be given honorary rank of Regimental Sergeant Major [laughter] for all the work she has done and the staff. It’s just out of the top drawer, it couldn’t be better. The hospitality we have enjoyed has been tremendous. We will all remember this day fondly.
“Thank you very much indeed Coleraine, a tremendous day, you did us proud.”
Earlier, Major General David O’Morchoe, the President of the Royal British Legion in the Republic of Ireland, said the visit of Her Majesty and Prince Philip was “particularly appropriate that it marks the start of the Coleraine memorial to World War One.”
He said the Good Friday Agreement had brought about a massive change in the attitude in the Republic to the relatives who had fought in the First World War and Second World War.
“We are still reaping the benefits of that change now,” he remarked.
“Your welcome has been fantastic and the occasion couldn’t be beaten.
“ Thank you very much all of you, we’ve had a wonderful time.”