Local figures lauded in Birthday Honours list

Frazer Evans.
Frazer Evans.

A former businessman with strong links to Carrickfergus is just one of a number of community figures recognised in this year’s Birthday Honours.

Frazer Evans was awarded an OBE for his services to the economy and to charity.

Cllr Billy Ashe.

Cllr Billy Ashe.

Mr Evans set up the Abbey Insurance group with George Storey in 1973, bringing hundreds of jobs to the east Antrim area.

The business currently has its head office at Governor’s Place in Carrick.

Speaking of his delight at receiving the award, the Ballynahinch man said: “I’m honoured but at the same time very humbled.”

A former assistant manager at Carrick Rangers Football Club, Mr Evans is a committee member of two local charities, including Brain Injury Matters. “I’m also involved with the Northern Ireland Children to Lapland Trust, which is based in Carrick and is a tremendous organisation,” the 63-year-old added.

Stanley Brown.

Stanley Brown.

A former pupil of Belfast High School, Mr Evans was also a keen badminton player, representing Northern Ireland in the Commonwealth Games during the 1970s.

Meanwhile, former Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Billy Ashe has told of his pride at being awarded a MBE.

The veteran politician, who represents the Carrick Castle ward, was bestowed the prestigious accolade for services to local government in Northern Ireland.

He previously served on the legacy Carrickfergus Council, to which he was first elected in 1997.

“It was a complete surprise, but I’m absolutely delighted,” Cllr Ashe said. “It is every Ulsterman and Ulsterwoman’s dream to be acknowledged by Her Majesty The Queen.

“This was a real team effort and my thanks go everybody at Mid and East Antrim Council, led by Chief Executive Anne Donaghy.

"I would like to thank whoever put me forward for the award, along with everyone who has wished me well in the last few days.”

Also featuring on this year’s Honours list was Stanley Brown, Chief Executive of the Belfast Road-based Forensic Science Northern Ireland.

Mr Brown was awarded a CBE for services to science and justice.