RAFA stalwart marks 97th birthday

RAFA member Billy Boyce celebrates his 97th birthday.
RAFA member Billy Boyce celebrates his 97th birthday.

The Carrickfergus branch of the Royal Air Force Association have honoured their oldest member Billy Boyce as he turned 97.

With their latest meeting coinciding with Billy's birthday, members surprised the WWII veteran with a birthday cake, complete with a Red Arrow on top.

Branch chairman, Colin Murphy said: “Billy is our oldest member and he is so sprightly that you would never guess that he is into his tenth decade. He is one of our stalwart members who attends all our meetings and functions, where he is always great craic.”

Billy added: “I was an RAF electrical technician during the war and always kept myself fit when in the Service by playing a variety of sports. Later, immediately after the war for several years, I played soccer for Carrick Rangers and Crusaders.

"I might be slowing down a bit now, but I have always enjoyed a good walk. The secret is to keep active if you are able to.”

Billy played a role in helping man the stalls during RAFA's annual Wings Appeal, which this year raised over £35,000. "The public just seem to love to chat with our older members, particularly members like Billy who can actually talk about their first hand experiences from those dark days of World War Two," said Wings Appeal organiser, Wing Commander Noel Williams.

"We are delighted to have Billy as our senior member.”