The Carrickfergus branch of the Royal Air Forces Association has elected a female president for the first time in its 67-year history.
Claire Pauley donned the chain of office following the annual general meeting of the branch which was held at Carrickfergus Golf Club,
Mrs Pauley said: “It’s an absolute honour to be selected to represent the branch in the role of president. Having been branch secretary for well over 20 years I know how important it is for the president to take a lead role in promoting the welfare work we do.
“I will continue to do that just as my predecessor, Billy Boyce, has done during his three year term as our president”.
On the same evening Carrickfergus branch members also elected a woman as vice president, Rose Corr.
Outgoing president Billy Boyce quipped: ”Now we have two ladies as our president and vice president, a lady treasurer and a lady welfare officer, I guess the chairman, Colin Murphy, who returns to the chair after a year as vice chair, will have his hands full pretending that he is in control of our meetings.
Mr Boyce added: “But seriously, we have a great RAFA team that will focus on our Wings Appeal and welfare work.”
Other members elected to committee posts were:
chairman - Colin Murphy;
vice chairman - Harry Sharkey;
secretary - Dan McCormick;
treasurer - Isobel Day;
welfare officer - Maureen Irwin MBE;
standard bearer - Joe Corr;
Wings Appeal organiser - Wing Commander Noel Williams.
The election of officers was conducted by Ed McKnight, the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal organiser for Carrickfergus.
Wings Appeal organiser Noel Williams said: “This is another tremendous committee appointed to lead the branch into another year of support for our ex-serviceman and women in their ‘hour of need’.
“I do hope the people of Newtownabbey, Glengormley, Greenisland, Whiteabbey, Ballyclare and Whitehead will continue to support those who served their country its darkest days and, to quote my often used phrase, will ‘Give as they Gave’ when they see our boxes in outlets across the area.”
RAFA provides welfare support to serving and ex-serving personnel and their dependants. Receiving no government contributions, the work is completely funded by the generosity of members and through donations from the general public.