There was a record response to this year's Macosquin Poppy Appeal with more than £12,000 raised last month for the Royal British Legion. It was the highest annual collection yet in an area that traditionally prides itself on its considerable generosity towards the Legion.
Volunteers from the village – most of them members of Macosquin's Parish Church – gathered the money through door-to-door collections in the neighbourhood and by manning a stall at the entrance to Sainsbury’s Supermarket in Coleraine during the first fortnight in November.
Local woman Joy White, who has coordinated the village’s Poppy Appeal collection for the last 40 years, has commended the community for its generosity. Joy herself raised hundreds of pounds of this year’s total by selling home-made jam and by allowing her garden to be used for wedding photographs.
This year’s final total – £12,160 – was revealed to parishioners at a coffee morning in the Minor Hall of St Mary's Church in Macosquin on Friday morning. The Rector of the Parish of Camus-Juxta-Bann, Rev Canon Mike Roemmele, added his appreciation for the generosity shown to the Legion. He said the Armed Forces were “like a family within the family of the nation” and were deserving of the community’s support.
Canon Roemmele also thanked the 45-strong team who volunteer for the Macosquin Poppy Appeal. “Every year they tour the village and the houses in the surrounding area, promoting this worthy charity which supports the ongoing work of caring for former members of our nation's armed forces who are experiencing hardship. The generosity of the many who contribute to the fund is extraordinary,” Canon Roemmele said, “and this is particularly true of the customers in Sainsbury's Supermarket who contributed around six thousand pounds this year.”
Several members of the Macosquin Poppy Appeal team received Certificates of Appreciation at Friday's event for their years of voluntary service to the charity. One member, Sylvia Kennedy, was presented with a medal to mark 50 years’ service.
(802) Sylvia Kennedy receives her 50 years' service medal from Macosquin Poppy Appeal co-ordinator Joy White
(799) Members of the Macosquin Poppy Appeal receive Certificates of Appreciation from the Royal British Legion
(791) The Rector of Camus-Juxta-Bann, Rev Canon Mike Roemmele (centre) with volunteers from the Macosquin Poppy Appeal