Birthday gongs for teachers, priests and health workers

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Several well-known Londonderry figures have been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2016, including school and nursery principals, health workers, a hotel manager and a local priest.

There were MBEs for Drumahoe Primary School Principal Terry McMaster; Western Trust Chair Gerard Guckian; White Horse Hotel managing director, Issam Horshi; education officer, Patrick Mackey; and Galliagh Nursery School Principal Majella McDonnell.

Meanwhile, the Rector of All Saints, Clooney, the Reverend David McBeth, was awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for “his service to charity and to the community in County Londonderry”.

William Gerard O’Donnell from Eglinton was also awarded the BEM for “services to the community”.

Speaking from Spain, where he was on a family holiday, Rev. McBeth said he and his wife, April, were shocked when they first learned of the award, although he said they were both thrilled at the news.

“I am delighted to have received this recognition from Her Majesty,” Rev McBeth said, “although there are many others who share in this honour: my wife, my children and the many people I have performed with. I’m particularly thankful that our efforts here in the All Saints, Clooney Parish, in the Diocese and in the wider Church of Ireland have also been recognised.”

Rev McBeth, who is a chaplain to the Foyle Hospice, has been a minister for ten years and worked previously as a dental technician. He is a familiar face at fund-raising events throughout the Diocese of Derry and Raphoe and further afield, and has helped raise large sums of money for charities including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

The father-of-three grown-up children plays guitar and keyboards, and has released two country gospel albums, ‘The Gospel Album’ and ‘He is Risen’. He performs regularly in local hospitals, nursing homes and caring facilities. He has been prominently involved in cross-community work in the Waterside and in Dungiven (where he was previously Rector).