Families of Massereene soldiers thank Orangemen for fundraiser
The girlfriend of one the soldiers murdered at Massereene Barracks in Antrim last year has thanked local Orangemen for raising money in their memory.
Orangemen in Randalstown District sold 12,000 badges they designed in memory of the two soldiers — Patrick Azimkar and Mark Quinsey.
A total of £15,000 was presented by the Orange Order to the Royal Engineers Benevolent Fund.
At the event a letter was read from Louise Potter, girlfriend of Patrick Azimkar.
It said: “I would like to say thank you for the badges. They are wonderful. Myself, Pat’s family and friends have been wearing them with pride and we feel honoured that the people of Antrim have put together such brilliant and beautiful badges for our boys.”
The Orange Order in Randalstown also received a letter from Patrick’s father, Mehmet Azimkar.
It said: “We are very pleased that these lovely badges created in memory of our beloved son Patrick and his friend Mark Quinsey have raised £15,000 for the Royal Engineers Benevolent Fund.
“We have been touched by the extraordinary support of the local people of Antrim and would like to thank you all for your solidarity.”
Alan Nicholl, secretary of Randalstown District, said: “Many of us in Northern Ireland had hoped and thought that the days of shootings and bombings were behind us, however we very quickly realised that was not the case.
“Some of us were at a function in Ballymena as news of the shootings in Antrim came through on March 7 last year.
“At a meeting of our District Orange Lodge we felt we wanted to do something to show our support and solidarity for both the Army and the police at that time.
“We decided in the short-term to organise a coffee morning and raised £1,350, which was divided between the Benevolent Funds for the PSNI and the Royal Engineers.”