The contribution of two local primary schools to this year’s Battle of Britain Wings Appeal has been marked with a special gift.
Greenisland Primary and Victoria Primary Schools were presented with a signed photograph of a Red Arrow aircraft after raising £550 and £350 for the annual appeal respectively.
Veterans from the Royal Air Force Association visited the schools to congratulate pupils and staff on their excellent work.
Wings Appeal Organiser, Wing Commander Noel Williams said: “We were thrilled when the entire Red Arrows Team, once they had heard of their magnificent fund raising feats, agreed to personally sign two photographs for the schools.
“It was especially poignant that Colin Murphy, branch vice chairman, and Kevin McRandle MBE, branch deputy welfare officer, were able to join with me in not only thanking the school children, but also paying tribute to the [Greenisland Primary] school’s head teacher, Brian Stirling, as it was his last Wings Appeal event prior to his retirement at the end of 2013.”
Mr Stirling added: “The children always look forward to our first event of the school year which happens each September, the Battle of Britain month, as they return to begin their academic year at the school.
“I am delighted to receive the wonderful framed acknowledgement of the £550 we raised to help those who gave so much for our freedom and by doing so that of our children.”
Wing Commander Williams, accompanied by Billy Boyce, branch president, and branch chairman Harry Sharkey also presented a signed photo to Victoria Primary School principal Michael Newman for the impressive achievement of raising £350 towards the 2013 appeal.
“We were in the middle of our Christmas nativity play rehearsal when the RAFA members called to make the presentation,” Mr Newman said.
“The children were thrilled to chat to the veterans with one even asking Mr Sharkey if he was the President of the USA! Other members of staff who were present were of the opinion that it must have been the impressive collection of medals that prompted the question.
“Whilst it was a humorous moment, we at Victoria Primary School are only too delighted to help our serving and ex-servicemen and women by playing our part in the annual Wings Appeal campaign, and the children were more than happy to join in the photograph.”
The Wings Appeal is the fundraising arm of the RAF Association and helps generate the vital funds needed to support both serving and ex-RAF personnel as well as their families.
The Carrickfergus RAFA branch also ran a ‘Name Me Claim Me’ Teddy Bear competition in the borough this year to raise funds for the appeal.