Men and women from RAF Aldergrove on parade
Published 20/09/2007 | 11:32
The colour in the streets will be Air Force Blue on Sunday when the men and women from RAF Aldergrove go on parade in Belfast - to fulfil a promise made to them at City Hall half a century ago.
It was back in the summer of 1957, when the late Sir Cecil McKee was Lord Mayor, that the station in South Antrim - now the only RAF base in the province - was granted the Freedom of the City which gives uniformed personnel the traditional right to march.
So on Sunday, Group Captain David Stubbs will exercise that privilege as he leads a parade of 200 - which will also include members of the Army Air Corps - from Royal Belfast Academical Institution to St George's Parish Church in High Street and a Battle of Britain commemoration service (2pm). The men and women in the march - during which the standards of the Air Crew Association and the Royal Air Force Association will be paraded - will pass City Hall on the way where the present Lord Mayor, Jim Rodgers, will take the salute. It will be a poignant and colourful moment with the Band of the Royal Air Force from Cranwell accompanying the marchers to City Hall on a day on which the 50th anniversary of the Army Air Corps is also being celebrated.
In picturesque St George's, the speaker will be the Rev Derek Weir.