The “tremendous” fundraising effort of Carrick branch of the RAF Association was highlighted as members gathered for their annual dinner.
The Carrickfergus Golf Club audience heard that for the seventh year running, Carrick had taken the ‘Top Branch in UK’ award.
Principal guests at Friday’s event were Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of County Antrim, Joan Christie OBE and Air Marshal David Niven CB, CBE, the Air Officer Northern Ireland.
In her address prior to proposing a toast to the association, the Lord Lieutenant said: “I am thrilled to be here, not just in my role as the Lord Lieutenant, but as a supporter of ex-servicemen and women and as a supporter of their charitable welfare endeavours.
“I am very proud of the successes this branch continues to achieve on behalf of the RAF Association. I truly appreciate the tremendous work your Welfare Team carries out in supporting the needy.”
Air Marshal Niven spoke about the modern RAF and many of the recruitment changes that are underway, as well as equipment that is coming on line in the years ahead.
He also addressed the importance of service charities and congratulated the Carrickfergus branch for the splendid fundraising it achieves year in, year out.
He went on to encourage members to continue to play an active part in the premier branch in the RAFA organisation.
Claire Pauley, branch president, thanked members for their continued support and praised the guests for their continued encouragement, saying that without it the branch would not be able to be so successful.
Wing Commander Noel Williams, Wings Appeal organiser, said: “We worked extremely hard to achieve our £40,000 welfare target in what was the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.
“Our members are incredibly supportive and we also enjoy the companionship our association gives us. Perhaps I could use this occasion to ask any ex-servicemen and women who would enjoy our regular meetings, and the company they generate, to call me on 07739 191958 and I will introduce them to our next available meeting.
“We meet on the first Tuesday of each month in the Golf Club, Carrickfergus.”