Belfast Telegraph

Orangeman who lost his wife to cancer hailed for funding drive

By Staff Reporter

An "inspirational" Orangeman who devoted himself to raising awareness of blood cancer after personal tragedy has been recognised by the institution.

Barry Williamson from Tandragee received the Grand Master's Award at this year's Orange Community Awards.

The electrician (33) has raised nearly £60,000 for Leukaemia & Lymphoma NI following the death of his wife Alison last year.

She had been diagnosed with a rare form of blood cancer.

Devoting his free time to Alison's memory, the father-of-two committed himself to various fundraising initiatives, including climbing the four highest mountains in the UK in the space of 48 hours last autumn.

Barry's dedication recently resulted in the charity, in conjunction with Queen's University, being able to announce funding for the Alison Williamson PhD Studentship for research into blood cancers.

Mr Williamson said: "I cannot express how humbled and honoured I feel to be awarded this prestigious accolade."

He was one of a series of individuals, lodges and musicians to be formally acknowledged by the loyal order for their community work and achievements over the past 12 months.

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