Royal tree planting

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A special tree planting ceremony took place at Antrim Civic Centre on Wednesday to mark HM Queen Elizabeth II becoming the longest reigning British monarch.

The ceremony, along with one at Mossley Mill, was hosted by the Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor Thomas Hogg, were attended by local MLAs, Elected Members and council staff.

Rev. Campbell Dixon MBE, the Mayor’s Chaplain, also offered a prayer at both ceremonies, which had been specially written for the occasion by the Church and approved by the Queen, for use on the day.

Speaking at the events the Mayor commented: “Its gives me great pleasure to plant these red oak trees as an act of commemoration.

“On behalf of the people of the Borough, I have also written to Her Majesty the Queen to extend our very best wishes.”

DUP Councillor Matthew Magill was also in attendance at the tree plantings and said: “I count it a great honour to be able to mark Her Majesty’s milestone as the longest reigning Monarch of our country on behalf of her subjects in the Borough of Antrim and Newtownabbey.

“The Queen has devoted her life to the Nation and the Commonwealth and it is right that the council, in some small way, mark this milestone in her honour and pay tribute to her years of service.

“I am delighted that discussions are under way within the council to allow everyone within the Borough to mark this significant milestone in our Monarch’s reign, come her Official Birthday, next summer. I am sure that whatever is planned will mark this great occasion in a fitting manner.”