Pupils rise to royal birthday challenge

Judging the Queen's Birthday Card Compettion are Joan Christie (Lord Lieutenant), Cllr Timothy Gaston, and Council officer Rosalind Lowry. (Submitted Picture).
Judging the Queen's Birthday Card Compettion are Joan Christie (Lord Lieutenant), Cllr Timothy Gaston, and Council officer Rosalind Lowry. (Submitted Picture).

School children in Ballymena and the wider borough have drawn on their artistic talents to mark Her Majesty The Queen’s birthday.

Mid & East Antrim Council have organised a series of celebratory events ahead of Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday in May, Judging has just taken place for a three-part school competition - to design a birthday card, poster or write a poem to mark the celebrations.

The impressive entry of colourful artworks were spread out in The Braid Atrium for judging recently by the Lord Lieutenant of County Antrim, Joan Christie; Councillor Timothy Gaston, and Council’s Arts & Development Officer, Rosalind Lowry.

“Judging proved to be very difficult given the high standard of entries,” said Cllr Gaston.

“There are a great many talented youngsters across the borough and it was very hard to choose between them – but the decisions have been made. An awards ceremony and announcement of winners will take place in April in the Mayor’s Parlour when all will be revealed,” he said.

The birthday card competition, in paint, pencil, crayon or print was open to Key Stage 1 pupils with the overall winner set to receive £50 and the winning pupil’s school £200 for art materials. There will also be a second prize of £30 for a pupil and a third prize of £20.

The poster design category, featuring similar prizes, was open to Key Stage 2 pupils and uggestions included the Queen’s love of horses and dogs, or her more formal royal role to include her throne or her role across the Commonwealth.

The challenge of writing a poem was also targeted at Key Stage 2 pupils and asked them to base their entry on her birthday or her life; her role as ruler or role in the Commonwealth, with the top three entries again receiving a prize.