Alderman Gareth Wilson has hosted a special reception to honour Markethill Festival organiser Mrs Betty Stewart at the Palace.
LORD Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council, Alderman Gareth Wilson has hosted a special reception to honour the dedication and commitment of Markethill Festival organiser Mrs Betty Stewart.
Having played a very active role in the festival for 42 years, she was joined by friends and family for the event at the Palace, kept as a surprise to add to the occasion.
The Lord Mayor presented Betty with a special award and a bouquet to celebrate her selfless volunteering over many decades.
Alderman Wilson said: “I have got to know Betty well over the years, helping her with various ideas and initiatives through the council, and it was great to attend the Festival and Fair last year as Lord Mayor and it was clear everyone had such a great time.
“It must be said Betty, along with her husband and family, have endured great personal loss over the years and indeed sadly again in recent months. It has certainly been very difficult for she and her family, but despite this, her determination and devotion has always shone through. Focusing on her amazing contribution of over 42 years to the life of Markethill through the Festival and more recently the Fair, it was only but right that this unwavering dedication was formally recognised.”
“It was so good that her devoted family was able to keep it as a surprise until she walked through the Palace door and that was so special to see her delight and a few smiling scolds too!
“Betty represents the social fabric of our borough and when I set out on my mayoral journey last June, I wanted to put a special emphasis on the work of our volunteers and there is no better example of a dedicated volunteer than Betty Stewart.”