Queen’s birthday wishes to Clooney GB

LETTER FROM QUEEN!. . . .GB Leader Janette Connor pictured with the Letter from the Queen during Friday night's Girls Brigade 5th NI Coy. 90th Anniversary at Clooney Hall Methodist Church. Included are Explorers Abbie McNally and Zoe Kitson. INLS1615MC012

LETTER FROM QUEEN!. . . .GB Leader Janette Connor pictured with the Letter from the Queen during Friday night's Girls Brigade 5th NI Coy. 90th Anniversary at Clooney Hall Methodist Church. Included are Explorers Abbie McNally and Zoe Kitson. INLS1615MC012

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There was an added air of excitement at the annual Parents Night and Prizegiving for the members of 5th NI Methodist City Mission Girls Brigade Company - who celebrated their 90th birthday.

Parents and friends had filled Clooney Hall Methodist hall for what promised to be a fabulous night of fun, games and awards, but none of the girls had any idea there would be a special dimension to the celebrations - a letter from Windsor Castle, containing a special message from HM The Queen, who had celebrated her 90th birthday the day before.

90th ANNIVERSARY CAKE. . . .Rev. Peter Murray (Chaplain) and Special Guest Rev. Fred Munce pictured with Brigadiers and Sub Officers with the anniversary cake during Friday night's Girls Brigade 5th NI Coy. 90th Anniversary at Clooney Hall Methodist Church. INLS1615MC011

90th ANNIVERSARY CAKE. . . .Rev. Peter Murray (Chaplain) and Special Guest Rev. Fred Munce pictured with Brigadiers and Sub Officers with the anniversary cake during Friday night's Girls Brigade 5th NI Coy. 90th Anniversary at Clooney Hall Methodist Church. INLS1615MC011

The letter was written on April 15, and the Captain of the ‘Clooney Hall GB’ Janette Connor kept the letter a closely-guarded secret until Friday night, when it was read out to the girls in front of all their guests amid squeals of delight and applause.

“The girls were definitely in celebratory mood on Friday night for their GB display and parents night,” said Janette.

“But the letter was an extra special surprise for them,” she said.

In her letter to the girls the Queen’s lady-in-Waiting, Richenda Elton, said: “The Queen wishes me to write and thank you for the card and letter you have sent on the occasion of Her Majesty’s ninetieth birthday. The Queen was interested to learn that your si one of the oldest companies in Northern Ireland, and that you will celebrate reaching this milestone with a special display on Friday, 22nd April. Her Majesty hopes this event is a successful and enjoyable one for all involved. I am to send you The Queen’s best wishes and thank you, once again, for your thought for Her Majesty at this time.”

The Explorers group award winners pictured on Friday night at the Girls Brigade 5th NI Coy. 90th Anniversary at Clooney Hall Methodist Church. At back are leaders Hilary Steele, Janette Connor, Rebecca McGuffin and Sarah McDermott. INLS1615MC008

The Explorers group award winners pictured on Friday night at the Girls Brigade 5th NI Coy. 90th Anniversary at Clooney Hall Methodist Church. At back are leaders Hilary Steele, Janette Connor, Rebecca McGuffin and Sarah McDermott. INLS1615MC008

Recalling the moment the girls were told, Janette said: “The letter from The Queen generated quite a bit of excitement. The girls had written to The Queen wishing her a happy birthday, so when they discovered that The Queen had written to them to mark the Company’s 90th birthday, having just celebrated her own, they were very excited. We will get it framed now.”

See photographs on Pages 1, 14 and 27 and online.

The Junior and Revs group award winners pictured on Friday night at the Girls Brigade 5th NI Coy. 90th Anniversary at Clooney Hall Methodist Church. Front centre are Rev. Peter Murray (Chaplain) and Special Guest Rev. Fred Munce. At back are leaders Hilary Steele, Janette Connor, Rebecca McGuffin and Sarah McDermott. INLS1615MC009

The Junior and Revs group award winners pictured on Friday night at the Girls Brigade 5th NI Coy. 90th Anniversary at Clooney Hall Methodist Church. Front centre are Rev. Peter Murray (Chaplain) and Special Guest Rev. Fred Munce. At back are leaders Hilary Steele, Janette Connor, Rebecca McGuffin and Sarah McDermott. INLS1615MC009

The Seniors, Brigadiers and Sub Officers group award winners pictured on Friday night at the Girls Brigade 5th NI Coy. 90th Anniversary at Clooney Hall Methodist Church. Front centre are Rev. Peter Murray (Chaplain) and Special Guest Rev. Fred Munce. INLS1615MC010

The Seniors, Brigadiers and Sub Officers group award winners pictured on Friday night at the Girls Brigade 5th NI Coy. 90th Anniversary at Clooney Hall Methodist Church. Front centre are Rev. Peter Murray (Chaplain) and Special Guest Rev. Fred Munce. INLS1615MC010