THE district’s three New Year’s Honours recipients have said they are humbled to have been selected for their respective awards.

Jasper McKinney, the Assistant Director for Student Services at Southern Regional College, is to receive an MBE for services to further education and student welfare in Northern Ireland.

Dromore man Peter Branker is to be presented with an British Empire Medal for services to young people, charity and the community in the town.

And Marjorie Dale is also to receive an BEM for services to charity and the community in Banbridge.

The names on the New Year’s Honours list were revealed at the weekend, amid much speculation over who would be receiving the Royal awards.

Marjorie, who has been organising the Relay for Life event in Banbridge since 2006, said that she was surprised and totally taken aback by the news.

“I couldn’t believe it when I heard that I was nominated,” she said. “I’m still in shock!

“I have a committee and a team behind me who help me and work so hard for what is such a good cause and I ought to dedicate the award to them, and indeed to the other people who support Relay for Life.”

Jasper, who is also well known in the local community for his art work, added that he too was ‘over the moon’ with receiving the honour.

He said, “It will be a nice occasion, not only for me but for my family.

“I’m particularly pleased to receive the award becase Student Services is often hidden in the background and it’s good to see it get a bit of recognition.”

Peter, who has been involved with many community groups in Dromore, said he was pleased not only for himself but for the town.

“It’s nice to be recognised, although it’s funny because I have always done charity work because I felt that someone had to,” he said.