One of Northern Ireland’s leading business figures has been honoured by the Orange Institution.
William Wright – best known as the co-founder of global transport company Wrightbus – was the recipient of the coveted Grand Master’s Award at this year’s Orange Community Awards, held in Lisburn on Friday night.
The Ahoghill Orangeman, 87, was just one of a large number of individuals, as well as lodges and musicians, to be formally acknowledged by the Loyal Order for their community outreach and achievements over the past 12 months.
Dr Wright received the award from the Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, Edward Stevenson.
Paying tribute to the veteran entrepreneur, Mr Stevenson said: “William has been and continues to be a pioneer and role model for business in Northern Ireland and beyond.
“From very humble beginnings, his engineering expertise in the public transport sector is now so well established and revered across the world, that buses bearing the famous Wrightbus logo are as customary in the Far East as they are in London. This award is a well-deserved recognition for William’s longstanding commercial and business prowess, as well as his contribution to the provision of employment in north Antrim and to the wider Northern Ireland economy over many decades.”
Mr. Stevenson added: “We also acknowledge William’s faithful support for the Institution over the course of his 70-year membership. He is a more than deserving recipient of this award.”
Dr Wright said: “It was a big surprise for me to be honoured in this way by the Institution. I am truly humbled by the award which I see not only as recognition of my role in business, but also for my lodge.
“Given my long association with the Orange Order, I would like to dedicate this prize to all the members of Gracehill LOL 772 in Ahoghill.”
Other local winners:- Outstanding Community Leadership – Alan Nicholl, Hillstown LOL 176; Lodge Community Involvement – Braid District LOL No 18; Chaplains Award Gary Adair, Hillstown LOL 176