Two Connor parishioners have received awards in the Queen’s New Year Honours list.
Dr Donald Davison, long serving organist at St John’s, Malone, receives an MBE for services to music in Northern Ireland, while Mrs Rosemary Peters-Gallagher, honorary treasurer in Agherton parish, Portstewart, is awarded an OBE for services to business and the community in Northern Ireland.
Dr Davison, 69, is one of the province's best-known organists. He was Belfast City organist at the Ulster Hall for 21 years, giving hundreds of recitals and appearing regularly with the Ulster Orchestra. He was also University organist at Queen's and has been organist at St John's since 1977.
He was music editor of the Church Hymnal (2000) and co-author of an extensive companion to it.
A long time member of Connor Diocesan Council, Mr Davison, a retired university mathematics lecturer is in demand as an organ teacher, and is a tutor for the Joint Diocesan Organ Scholarship scheme.
Married to Rosemary, Mr Davison has three children and is planning a grand family reunion when he travels to London to receive his honour.
“This award was a total surprise and I am delighted that some people think me worthy of it,” he said.
Rosemary Peters-Gallagher, 47, is married to Sean and has been honorary treasurer in Agherton Parish for more than six years. She is involved with several local charities and is Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Good Book Shop (Belfast) Ltd, and is a Church of Ireland Trustee.
Mrs Peters-Gallager has been a Partner in Moore Stephens Northern Ireland since 1987, heading up the firms Audit and Assurance Division, and representing the Northern Ireland practice on the UK National Technical Committee. Rosemary is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland and a member of the Institute of Directors, serving on the Professional Development Committee of the latter.
She represents the IOD on the Court of the University of Ulster. In addition, Mrs Peters-Gallagher has been a Member of the Council (Governing Body) of the University of Ulster since 2000, where she chairs the Audit Committee.
She has served on the Board of Invest Northern Ireland since its inception in 2002 and is Chairman of the Audit Committee. She is also a Non-Executive Director of the Northern Health and Social Services Board and is Chairman of the Audit Committee.
In 2001, she was appointed by the Lord Chancellor as a panel member of the Appropriate Authority, which deals with the administration of criminal legal aid in Northern Ireland.
Mrs Peters-Gallagher said news of the award had come as a pleasant surprise. “I found out in November but couldn’t tell anyone,” she said. “Now everyone keeps telling me it was well deserved.”