MACEDON councillor Billy Webb has spoken of his pride at seeing his grandson take part in the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in London.
The Alliance Party representative, who welcomed the Olympic Torch Relay to Newtownabbey on June 3 during the final days of his term as Mayor, said he was thrilled to see his eldest grandson, nine-year-old Joseph, among the thousands of people selected to take part in Danny Boyle’s spectacular showcase.
Joseph, who lives in Walthamstow with his dad Stephen, mum Sue and siblings Oissin, Orla and Finley, was one of three pupils from Henry Maynard Junior School chosen to be part of the opening ceremony. He was among a group of children who held up numbered balloons to mark the countdown to the start of the Games.
“Being part of the show was awesome, we worked really hard and it was great to walk out and hear all the cheers. All my relatives around the world were watching, so I tried to remember to smile and just enjoy myself. I’m really proud of being from London and having the world see us start the Olympics off with such a big party,” Joseph told the Times.
Councillor Webb added: “I was very proud as Mayor to welcome the Olympic Torch to Newtownabbey. It was a very exciting event and everyone who came out that morning recognised a once in a lifetime experience.
“It was a particularly wonderful experience for my wife Pat and me to know then that the flame, being welcomed by us and carried through Newtownabbey, would eventually arrive at the Olympic Games in London where are first born grandchild, Joseph would be part of the opening ceremony. We saw him on television holding the number eight balloon as part of the countdown to the start of the Games, and that moment for us, and for him, will remain forever with us.”