Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall has visited the RUC George Cross Memorial Garden at Brooklyn in Belfast and presented The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service to the RUC George Cross Foundation.
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service was awarded to the fifty-seven volunteers of the Foundation on 2 June 2011 in recognition of their role as guides to the Memorial Garden, volunteer gardeners and as interviewers in an oral history project.
On arrival HRH was greeted by The Lord-Lieutenant of the County Borough of Belfast, Dame Mary Peters DBE.
HRH was accompanied throughout the visit by Mr Jim McDonald CBE LVO KCSG KGCHS DL, Chair of the RUC GC Foundation.
The Duchess met a number of RUC GC Foundation Trustees and went on to meet RUC widows and representatives of the Forgotten Families and Parents’ Association.
Later at the History Trail, HRH met retired senior PSNI Officers and their spouses and representatives of Stakeholders, Retired Police Officers’ Association, G C Association, Disabled Police Officers’ Association, Carers’ Association, Parents’ Association, and the Police Federation and Superintendents’ Association, RUC GC Historical Society
In the Memorial Garden Mr McDonald presented Members of the Oral History Group and family representatives and, later in the “Area of Peace” HRH met volunteer gardeners and representatives of the Boys’ Brigade.
During the tour HRH viewed the replica stained glass window erected in the “Area of Peace”. The window was erected in 2008 in St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast and presented to the RUC GC Foundation in October 2008.
Following a few words of welcome, Mr Jim McDonald invited HRH to present The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service to the RUC George Cross Foundation.
The Award of a Cut Glass Bowl and a Certificate were received by Ms Heather Miskelly, the wife of a retired Police Officer and a volunteer gardener and Mr Joe Rawson, a retired Detective Chief Inspector and, at eighty years of age, the longest serving volunteer.
Prior to departure twelve year old Zoe Latus, who’s grandfather, Reserve Constable William Findlay was murdered by terrorists in 1983, presented HRH with gifts of an RUC GC scarf and brooch.
HRH is expected to undertake a further engagement later today.