Event remembers brave veterans who served in Far East

Col Hilary Johnston RAMC Assn; Mrs Joan Christie OBE, Her Majesty's Lord Lieutenant for Co Antrim; Mayor Tim Morrow; Col Owen Lyttle TD/Comd 38 (Irish) Brigade; Mr Jim Lyons NMBVA and Dr Theresa Donaldson, Chief Executive of LCCC.
Col Hilary Johnston RAMC Assn; Mrs Joan Christie OBE, Her Majesty's Lord Lieutenant for Co Antrim; Mayor Tim Morrow; Col Owen Lyttle TD/Comd 38 (Irish) Brigade; Mr Jim Lyons NMBVA and Dr Theresa Donaldson, Chief Executive of LCCC.

Mayor Tim Morrow welcomed guests to the annual National Malaya and Borneo Veterans Association wreath laying ceremony at the Professor Pantridge statue at Lagan Valley Island, Lisburn.

The Mayor was joined at the event on September 30 by representatives of the National Malaya and Borneo Veterans Association, local politicians and the Chief Executive of Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council, Dr Theresa Donaldson.

Reverend Edward Gorringe CF, Padre of the National Malaya and Borneo Veterans Association, led the ceremony with the delivery of poignant prayers and a short sermon.

The Mayor addressed those assembled, saying: “Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council is very proud to host this annual ceremony in memory of Major Frank Pantridge and the brave heroes who served alongside him in Singapore.

“Today, by laying a wreath in memory, we take time to honour a man who transformed emergency medicine and paramedic services, saving lives worldwide.

“In 1965 Professor Pantridge, with the help of John Geddes, a senior house officer, and technician Alfred Mawhinney, invented the world’s first portable defibrillator.

“In today’s society, miniature defibrillators are routinely used thousands of times a day throughout the world thanks to the outstanding work of Professor Pantridge.

“The council have understood the importance of these devices and in recent years provided defibrillators for sports clubs and public spaces within the local community.”

In 1990, Professor Pantridge CBE was awarded the honour of Freeman of the Borough by the then Lisburn Borough Council for his contribution to worldwide mobile coronary care.

Cllr Morrow added: “Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council is privileged to continue to work very closely with the Malaya and Borneo Veterans Association and the Pantridge Trust on a number of occasions. We also take a moment to remember those National Malaya Borneo Veterans that served alongside Professor Pantridge and commemorate them for their bravery and sacrifice for their country.”

The Mayor concluded by thanking those who helped to organise the poignant ceremony, and all those who took the time to attend.