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BEM is a 'privilege' for Castlederg Royal British Legion Women's Section founder

Thursday, 5 January 2017

BEM is a 'privilege' for Castlederg Royal British Legion Women's Section founder thumbnailBrenda Corry, Castlederg, who has been awarded a BEM in the Queen's New Year Honours List for services to the community in County Tyrone

A FOUNDING member of the Castlederg branch of the Royal British Legion (RBL) Women's Section is 'privileged' to have been recognised in the Queen's New Year Honours List.
Castlederg woman, Brenda Corry - who was awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to the community in County Tyrone - is well known throughout the community for her charitable nature and her award will come to no surprise to those who know her.
"I am very privileged to be recognised as I am well aware that others have done as much and more, and perhaps not been selected," Brenda said.
"I would like to express my thanks to my husband, Fred, and our son, Jason. Without their support I could not have done this voluntary work, especially that for the RBL Women's Section."
Brenda is currently the president of Castlederg Women's Institute but has held many roles in various local organisations over the years.
It all began with the Girls' Brigade and the St John Ambulance Brigade Cadets whom she joined at primary school age. This, along with involvement in the local Young Farmers' Club, fostered her interest in Amateur Dramatics and she carried this through to the Women's Institute and the Royal British Legion Women's Section.  
As a teenager, Brenda carried out house-to-house collections for the local Derg Valley Hospital and in later years she was proud to represent this hospital on the Joint Hospital Comforts Fund Committee.
It was in 1970 when Brenda joined the Castlederg Women's Institute. "I have found it to be a wonderful organisation," she said. Over the years she has served on the committee and was honoured to be elected as president for 2016/2017.
As a founding member of the Castlederg branch of the Royal British Legion Women's Section, Brenda has held various offices in the organisation over the years and served as Group No.3 chairman from 2011 to 2014.
"Carrying out work as a welfare visitor for the RBL, from 1989 until 2012, is one of the most important and rewarding things I have done," she said. She also held the role of a welfare caseworker from 2004 until 2012.
Unfortunately, the Castlederg branch closed down in August 2016.
In the 1990s, Brenda served as Northern Ireland chairman, representing the province on the central committee in London and on the national finance and welfare committees. Central committee appointed Brenda as a judge for the National Cups and Certificates competitions.
"Much knowledge has been gained from my experiences both at branch and National level and have so many happy memories from this time in my life," she said.
Brenda is also a founding member of the Local Border Arts 2000 cross-community group and has served on the committee and as chairman.
"It is a pleasure to be treasurer of the local Castle Crafts Group," she added.
Her generous nature is well known and people are only too happy to donate when she carries out house-to-house collections in the area for the local cancer committee. She has also worked as a Samaritan volunteer since 1984 and served on the committee and as chairman.
Brenda is also a member of the Northern Ireland War Memorial committee and of the Somme Advisory Council.

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