Excitement as young and old meet royalty

Excitement as young and old meet royalty

12 September 2018

WEDNESDAY’S royal visit was a special occasion for everyone associated with Portaferry Sailing Club and Portaferry Recreation Hub.

There was a unanimous verdict of approval from everyone, young and old, who got to meet Princess Anne.

The first people to meet her were local girls Aine O’Neill and Kady-Mae Arthurs, who each presented her with a posy flowers.

Later she was met by junior sailors Roisin Murray, Eimear McCarthy, Ronan Breen and Eoin Murray.

Roisin said: “She was lovely. She asked us when we started sailing, what boats we sailed and about the strong tides and currents. She knew what she was talking about.”

Eimear and Ronan later had the honour of presenting the Princess with specially designed, hand-crafted pendants made by Dympna Curran, of Cuan Crafts, and a club burgee.

Eight year-old Lucy Roddy, a member of 8th Down Portaferry Sea Scouts, who was there with her mum, Elaine, said the Princess was “really nice”, while fellow Sea Scout, 11 year-old Willow Sachno, said: “She asked us what short of things we did. She was cool.” 

Terry Murphy, from Killyleagh, said he was delighted to attend and described the Princess as a “very knowledgable lady.”

Joy Wilkinson, a director of Portaferry Recreation Hub, was also thrilled: “She asked about our plans for the future and she had obviously done her homework. I thought she was wonderful.”

Joseph Birt, a fire safety engineer who was involved in the Hub project, said the Princess had a “deep understanding of heritage buildings.”

“She was very warm and genuine,” he added.

Teressa Ritchie, a member of Portaferry Sailing Club’s volunteers group, who was there with her husband, Barry, said Princess Anne was “lovely and very down to earth”.

“She asked us what we did and we told her we were volunteers and would be trying to maintain the buildings. She was very interested.”

Teressa added: “One member of the club asked her if she would like sail on his boat, but I don’t know what her reply was.”