Founders of two local charities, a police officer and the well-known Dean of St Anne’s Cathedral are among those honoured in the 2010 New Year’s Honours List.
The distinguished group join 60 recipients across the province, the majority of which have been honoured for their work in the community.
Mrs Isabel Quinliven was still shocked by the news she had been awarded an MBE (Member of the British Empire), when The CT spoke to her.
The founder of Caring Canines, who lives near the Upper Newtownards Road, received the award for services to older people in Northern Ireland.
She said: “It really hasn’t sunk in yet. I’m just a normal person. I didn’t start Caring Canines in the hope it would lead to this.
“I really appreciate all the hard work of the volunteers that makes our completely volunteer-led charity a success.”
Mrs Quinliven formed Caring Canines in May 1988 to provide comfort and company for elderly people.
She added: “The charity has 130 volunteers who socialise their own dogs with people in nursing homes, hospitals and wherever they are requested.”
Also receiving an MBE is Mr William McCrory, for services to children with cancer in Northern Ireland.
Mr McCrory, from Castlereagh, is the founder of Shine A Light, a charity aiming to improve the quality of life for children suffering from cancer.
He said: “We try to make dreams come true for child patients by giving them a break from their treatment.
“Just recently we had a group away to Lapland and during 2009 we also had groups at Beyoncé and westlife.
“I am very humbled and surprised to be receiving an MBE.
“I would like to dedicate it to the children and families the charity is currently working with and those we have lost in the past.”
East Belfast based Community Safety Sergeant Bobby Ellison has been awarded the Queen’s Police Medal.
With 28 years service, he has been at the forefront of developing community based policing in east and south Belfast.
The Church of Ireland Dean of St Anne’s Cathedral, the Reverend Houston McKelvey — also widely known as the Black Santa — has also been honoured, receiving an OBE (Order of the British Empire).
Well known across Belfast, he can be seen braving the cold in the run-up to Christmas outside the cathedral, raising money for the local charities and Christian Aid annually.