Queen’s Birthday Honour for East Antrim women

Cilla Stirling.
Cilla Stirling.

Two East Antrim women have been honoured in Her Majesty’s Birthday Honours List.

Sister Annie Grace Watt has been awarded a BEM (British Empire Medal) for services to peace and reconciliation in Larne.

Sister Olcan (Annie Grace Watt) has been awarded at BEM.

Sister Olcan (Annie Grace Watt) has been awarded at BEM.

Also receiving a BEM is Carrick woman Cilla Stirling for services to youth sport in Carrickfergus.

Cilla has had a long involvement with Carrickfergus Gymnastics Club dating back to 1983.

“I have been at it every since. I love it. It is about job satisfaction,” she said.

She explained that although she was never a gymnast, she became interested in the sport, through her daughters who were members of the Northern Ireland Squad and she went on to take over the running of the club.

“The lovely thing now is that the children whom I taught are now bringing their kids to the club.”

Cilla indicated that there are now 220 members, some of whom, joined at the age of three.

She said that she received a letter informing her of the Royal honour two months ago.

“I thought somebody was having me on. It was a big surprise. It really did come out of the blue.”

She paid tribute to her team for all their support.

“I have a good team around me. We all get on well. The kids are the most important thing.”

As well as a personal honour, she believes that the accolade will be “good for the club as well”.