Cookstown scout leader Colin Rea’s New Year’s Honour caps memorable 2015

Rural Development Minister Michelle O'Neill announced earlier this year that her Department will be providing �270,000 in support of the SUSE+ Programme Pictured at the SUSE+ launch event at South West College (SWC), Cookstown are (from left-right); Maria Hackett, Head of Training at SWC, Rural Development Minister Michelle O'Neill, Linda Dillon, Chair of Mid-Ulster Distrcit Council, Francie Molloy MP and Ciaran McManus, Deputy Head of Training at SWC.
Rural Development Minister Michelle O'Neill announced earlier this year that her Department will be providing �270,000 in support of the SUSE+ Programme Pictured at the SUSE+ launch event at South West College (SWC), Cookstown are (from left-right); Maria Hackett, Head of Training at SWC, Rural Development Minister Michelle O'Neill, Linda Dillon, Chair of Mid-Ulster Distrcit Council, Francie Molloy MP and Ciaran McManus, Deputy Head of Training at SWC.

A Dungannon further education chief and a scout leader from Cookstown are among those representing Tyrone on the New Year’s Honours List.

South West College’s Head of Training, Maria Hackett, was awarded the MBE for services to skills development in the area.

Colin Rea (front centre) with 1st Cookstown Scouts members who gained their 1st Moyola Scout Scarf's. Included in the picture is Roy Simpson ( Group Scout Leader)

Colin Rea (front centre) with 1st Cookstown Scouts members who gained their 1st Moyola Scout Scarf's. Included in the picture is Roy Simpson ( Group Scout Leader)

Maria, pictured here, joined Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill and Mid Ulster Council Chair Linda Dillon, Francie Molloy MP and her colleague Ciaran McManus, earlier this year to announce DARD funding for the college’s SUSE programme.

Flying the flag for Cookstown, meanwhile, was Colin Rea of the 1st Cookstown Scouts group, who received the BEM for services to young people in his local area.

Colin has been involved with the organisation in Cookstown for over 20 years, and told the TIMES he was “very excited, very pleased and honoured” to have been nominated for the title.

The popular scoutmaster, who works with members from 11 years upwards, was presented with the prestigious Silver Acorn award from the Scout Association earlier this year and joked: “I thought that was as good as it got!”

Mr Rea and his wife had been “sworn to secrecy” after receiving word that he would be among those joining the likes of Moneyglass champion jockey AP McCoy on the New Year’s Honours list, but finally told the rest of their family when they gathered together on Wednesday night, ahead of the official announcement in the press.

Asked whether he knew who had nominated him for the BEM, Colin said: “I don’t know, but I will be keeping my ears open and I will find out.”

The honour caps a very enjoyable year for Mr Rea and his family, who explained that his son and daughter had both announced engagements over the last 12 months.

Liam McHugh, also from Tyrone, received the BEM for work with Cystic Fibrosis.