Mid and East Antrim Borough Council is to confer the Honorary Freedom of the Borough on Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant for Co Antrim, Mrs Joan Christie OBE.
Elected Members agreed on the hugely prestigious award to the Queen’s official representative at a council meeting on Tuesday, August 8.
It followed a motion proposed by Cllr Billy Ashe and seconded by Cllr Audrey Wales MBE.
Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Cllr Paul Reid said: “The Freedom of the Borough is the highest accolade the council can award a citizen and Mrs Christie is a hugely worthy recipient.
“She has worked tirelessly in her role and has been a true ambassador for Her Majesty and our area.
“I am delighted that this decision has been taken and look forward to honouring a truly outstanding individual.”
Cllr Ashe’s motion read: “That this council confers the Honorary Freedom of the Borough of Mid and East Antrim on Mrs Joan Christie OBE.
“This award is in recognition of Mrs Christie’s commitment and service as Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant for the County of Antrim.
“Through her service, Mrs Christie has demonstrated a steadfast commitment to Co Antrim, and an outstanding contribution to Mid and East Antrim.”
At Tuesday evening’s meeting, Cllr Ashe said: “Mrs Christie has been extremely active as Lord Lieutenant.
“I have had the privilege of serving terms as Mayor of the old Carrickfergus Borough Council and also the first Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council and I have witnessed first-hand Mrs Christie’s devotion and dedication to the people of our borough and Co Antrim.
“She is held in very high esteem by our residents and has been a sterling ambassador for Her Majesty the Queen.
“Mrs Christie has served the position with great devotion and enthusiasm.”
He added: “Mrs Christie has a dedication that should be set as an example to all in public service.
“Mrs Christie has also shown unique ability to make us all look at the bigger picture, bringing us all together and focused on a Co Antrim basis.
“It is for her commitment and service to Co Antrim as Her Majesty the Queen’s representative that I am pleased to formally propose this motion tonight.”
Cllr Wales said: “It is a real privilege for me to second tonight’s motion that this council confers the Honorary Freedom of the Borough of Mid and East Antrim on Mrs Joan Christie OBE in recognition of her commitment and service as Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant to the County of Antrim.
“I have known Mrs Christie for many years and was delighted when she was appointed to serve as Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant in September of 2008.
“I always knew Mrs Christie was exceptionally busy and committed to her role. However, during my terms as Mayor of our predecessor council of Ballymena and last year as Mayor of Mid and East Antrim I discovered just how busy she really is.
“Her dedication is inspiring, in particular how supportive she is of all the community groups and young people across the county.”
She added: “Mrs Christie has brought a unique focus to the role of Lord Lieutenant and brought an exceptional commitment and energy to the position.”
The award will be officially conferred at a special ceremony at a later date.
Mid and East Antrim Borough Council will announce further details in due course.