Two retired local firefighters have been honoured at a special reception hosted by the Chair of Mid Ulster District Council.
Councillor Trevor Wilson paid tribute to Wilbert McKay and Hugh Marshall who collectively served 66 years as members of the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service, stationed at Maghera Fire Station.
Councillor Wilson said: “Like all our emergency services, the safety of our communities relies on the dedication, skill and professionalism of each and every member of the fire service. And while we all hope never to need their services personally, we know they are there to respond when we do.
“Wilbert and Hugh have been there for countless number of people over the years and in the course of their work have experienced difficult situations on an almost daily basis.
“Their commitment to serve was unwavering throughout and their sense of community spirit not only shone through their work, but also in their involvement in the wider social activities at the fire station and in Maghera.
“They will be sorely missed by their colleagues, but have more than earned their retirements and I wish them well in the future”.
Mark Watson, Cookstown District Commander, NIFRS said: “It is testament to the high esteem that Wilbert and Hugh are held in within the local community that the Council has held a civic reception to mark their retirements.
“Both men have served their community with distinction over the years and they will be missed by their colleagues not only in Maghera Fire Station but across Cookstown District.”
He wished both men a long and happy retirement.