Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council was honoured to host the annual National Malaya and Borneo Veterans’ Association wreath laying ceremony at Lagan Valley Island.
Wreaths were laid at the Professor Frank Pantridge statue in tribute to those who, like Professor Pantridge, fought in the Far East during the Second World War, and those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Mayor Brian Bloomfield MBE welcomed the Lord Lieutenant for County Antrim, Mrs Joan Christie OBE, elected members, service personnel, members of the Professor Pantridge Trust and Armed Forces veterans to the event.
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.
“I would like to thank you all for attending today’s special ceremony, which the council is very proud to host in memory of Major Frank Pantridge. As the Mayor of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council I feel privileged to be here today to remember all the brave heroes who served alongside him in Singapore,” Cllr Bloomfield said.
Referring to this year being the 100th anniversary of Professor Pantridge’s birth, the Mayor continued: “Wreath laying at memorial sites is a ritual that occurs around the world and is recognised as a public display to commemorate the dead. Today we take time to remember a man who achieved so much throughout his life and contributed enormously to worldwide mobile coronary care by becoming a world-renowned pioneer of the portable defibrillator.
“Professor Pantridge was driven to succeed by his memories of his time spent serving in Japan and to honour the memory of those Malaya and Borneo soldiers who were left behind. If he was still with us today he would be proud that his work has touched the lives of so many families across the world in saving the lives of their loved ones.
“Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council is privileged to continue to work very closely with the National Malaya and Borneo Veterans’ Association and the Pantridge Trust on a number of occasions to remember those who have died and to educate the residents and visitors of Lisburn/Castlereagh as to the importance of this regiment and its survivors.
“Finally I would like to thank the National Malaya and Borneo Veterans’ Association for organising today’s ceremony and to all the veterans, guests and representatives of the Professor Pantridge Trust. Special thanks also to Rev Edward Gorringe CF for leading our service today. I would also like to offer my sincere appreciation to Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant for County Antrim, Mrs Joan Christie OBE for being here with us.”