Belfast Telegraph

Home Life Features

All the best: Iain Carlisle on his favourite things


By Kerry McKittrick

The 43-year-old is chief executive of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland. He lives near Ballynahinch with his wife Laura and their daughters Sarah (13) and Rebecca (10).

My best moment

Probably last year when I performed at the Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate near Ypres in Belgium with the Brunswick Accordion Band. It was a really emotional experience and my family are all in the band with me so it was very special for us to be there on the 1916 centenary. We played a piece of music commissioned especially for us so it's something unique and special.

My best song

I really don't have any favourite stand-out song or artists. My music collection goes from country music to Chopin and everything in between. The last concert I attended was the Ulster Orchestra and the next one I plan to go to is Lady Antebellum in Dublin. While I'm in work, I really enjoy having Mozart piano concertos playing in the background.

My best way to relax

I play music a lot - a lot of piano - but fairly recently I started running with my wife. I would struggle to say I enjoy it but it certainly clears my head after a busy day at work. I think it's because I have to concentrate so hard on keeping running that I can't concentrate on anything else. It is strangely therapeutic.

My best job

This one is certainly the best. I'm entrusted with the day-to-day running of a 220-year-old institution and I take that responsibility very seriously. The job is full of variety and not without challenges but for me it's great to be part of something that has a central place in the life of my family and my community. I feel very privileged to be in a position of influence in it.

My best advice

My brother and I grew up in a very close-knit rural community and my parents always instilled in us that we should treat others as we would want to be treated ourselves. I think that's equally important in professional life as it is in personal. It's something I try to adhere to - just by working hard and being nice to people.

My best movie

These days I tend to watch what the girls pick - the Lego Movie and that sort of thing. If I had control of the remote I would go for a classic war film like Zulu or The Longest Day. I like military history and history films.

My best gift

A pair of cuff links in the shape of poppies made with brass from shell fuses recovered from the Somme battlefield last year. They also incorporate a small amount of earth from a number of key sites including Thiepval in France. They mean a lot to me because the members of the band bought them for me following our Battlefield Tour last year; but also because each time I wear them I remember the supreme sacrifice made by so many during the Great War.

My best achievement

I've been fortunate enough to have been involved in a number of community projects which have been really good in their own way. Last year, we researched the details of everyone from Annalong village who died in the First World War and published their history in a book called Annalong Remembers.

My best buy

About 12 years ago, I bought a really top-end piano accordion. It's a Guerrini Gold Professional Series which was hand made to my specifications in Italy. I've spent hundreds of hours playing it.

My best book

The one that sticks with me is God's Frontiersmen, The Scots-Irish Epic by Rory Fitzpatrick. I read it when I was 16 and it's probably the most succinct examination of the Ulster-Scots people and their influence around the world.

Belfast Telegraph

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.


From Belfast Telegraph