Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council will join in national celebrations for VE Day by lighting its civic headquarters building up in red on Friday May 8, Saturday May 9 and Sunday May 10.
In addition a short beacon lighting ceremony will take place in the grounds of Lagan Valley Island in Lisburn, the Council’s headquarters at 9.32pm this Friday night.
The Mayor, Councillor Thomas Beckett; Elected Members of Council and the Royal British Legion will be in attendance at the ceremony.
The City will join with beacons being lit across towns and cities in the United Kingdom in remembering the sacrifice, courage and determination of those people who fought in World War 2 and the bringing about of peace in Europe.
“It is important that we remember this 70th Anniversary on behalf of those who fought in the War and those thousands of people who worked in industry, in shipyards, in factories or through farming; all in support for the war effort,” said Mr Beckett.
“I am very proud to be Mayor of the new council as we join with towns and cities across the UK in commemorating the significance of VE Day.”
Victory in Europe Day, generally known as VE Day, was the public holiday celebrated on 8 May 1945 to mark the formal acceptance by the Allies of World War II of Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender of its armed forces.
Public holidays were declared all over the UK and celebrations began in Lisburn when the local ARP (Air Raid Precautions) Officer, Mr R H Gibson soon broadcast the news over loud-speakers in Market Square.
The whole of Lisburn celebrated the declaration of peace with parties in the streets and bonfires lit throughout the town.
Celebrations weren’t just for Lisburn; Dunmurry went wild with joy. Impromptu bands paraded on the Monday night through to Wednesday. Mr Robert Green and a large team of local boys worked on a huge bonfire. It was lit on the Tuesday night by Mrs Beattie J.P. Again, an effigy of Hitler and his detested and discredited swastika perished in the flames.
Finaghy too, had its bonfire and a Hitler effigy burnt.
Following the declaration of peace, advertising changed in the following week’s Lisburn Standard. The Belfast Savings Bank told of the ‘Dove of Peace’ spreading its wings. A ‘Victory Queen’ contest was announced. Christ Church was to hold a ‘Thanksgiving for Victory’ service and Railway Street Presbyterian Church would hold a ‘Thanksgiving and Dedication’ service.