On behalf of the Council, The Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey Alderman Stephen Ross has paid tribute to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II on the sad occasion of her passing.
The Mayor, Alderman Stephen Ross said;
It is with deep sadness, that I offer these words of condolence on the occasion of the passing of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. History records her as our longest reigning Monarch, in June we celebrated her Platinum Jubilee marking 70 years on the throne. So it is difficult to express the scale of that contribution to our nation. In a world drifting towards war, she observed how her father’s steadfast resolve inspired a nation through blitz, battles and beach-landings to victory, and indeed she joined in that effort joining the Auxiliary Territorial Service. Newly married, and as a new mother, her own father’s unexpected ill-health and passing meant she ascended the throne long before she might have expected to, but she accepted this as her destiny. It was this constant recognition that service must come before self, that marked her unwavering dedication to duty.
Reigning for 70 years, 15 Prime Ministers served at Her Majesty’s pleasure, the first of which was Sir Winston Churchill. No doubt his counsel was a great boon to her as a young woman setting out on her path as Sovereign. In the annals of history, the second great Elizabethan age will be recognised for the pace of change in technology. But amidst that change, Her Majesty’s influence was a constant. Dignified, diligent, bringing stability to the institution, and placing it on a firm footing for the future. Today we are in mourning, we have lost a great Queen. But her loss will be deeply felt by many on a personal level. She was a devoted wife, mother, grand-mother and great-grand-mother, and of course the nation mourned with her when she lost her beloved husband, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh in April 2021.
On behalf of the people of Antrim and Newtownabbey, I will be opening books of condolence at 12 noon tomorrow in the following locations;
- Antrim Castle Gardens- Large parterre
- Ballyclare War Memorial Park
- Mossley Mill Civic Square (beside Theatre at The Mill)
In addition, an online book of condolence is now open. This will allow people to leave any personal messages or tributes, which will be gathered and conveyed in an appropriate manner. I’m sure that many will bear her son His Majesty, The King in their thoughts today as he ascends the Throne. Queen Elizabeth II had a special dedication to the Commonwealth. In a landmark speech to celebrate her 21st birthday, she addressed its young people making a solemn vow. Her Majesty committed that she would devote her whole life, ‘whether that be long or short’ to the service of people across the ‘great imperial family to which we all belong’. Whether her duties faced toward church, military, civic life or statehood, today we can say wholeheartedly that vow was fulfilled, and we are indebted that her service was so long.”
Messages of condolence can be left online at www.antrimandnewtownabbey.gov.uk/HerMajestyTheQueen