Businessmen among honours recipients

John Agnew CBE.
John Agnew CBE.

The Chairman of the Mallusk-based Henderson Group has expressed his surprise at being awarded the CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

John Agnew, who oversaw the growth of Hendersons before handing over the day to day running of the company to his sons Martin and Geoffrey in 1999, was awarded the CBE for services to business and to charity.

“I am immensely proud and indeed humbled to have been given this honour,” he commented. “It came as a great surprise and I am very pleased to accept it on behalf of my family, all the staff at the Henderson Group, our retailers and most importantly our customers.”

Alan Armstrong from Ballyclare, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Portadown-based pharmaceutical company the Almac Group, was awarded the OBE for services to the economy.

Mr Armstrong, a graduate member of the Royal Society of Chemistry and a former director of Galen Holdings plc, oversees the Almac Group’s operations globally and leads the strategic direction of the company.

A serving member of the Economic Advisory Group, which provides independent advice to the Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister aimed at challenging and developing public policy and strategic thinking on the Northern Ireland economy, he also has a keen interest in agriculture and farming.

“I am truly delighted to be given this honour and I accept it on behalf of all my colleagues in Almac and in recognition of the vision of the late Sir Allen McClay (founder of Almac) who made it all possible,” Mr Armstrong said.

Another local honours recipient was Mrs Moreen Lorraine Hatrick, who was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) for voluntary services to the community.

The Jordanstown woman is a former Lady Captain of Larne Golf Club in Islandmagee.

At the time of going to print she was unavailable for comment.