Crawley Irishperson of the Year Announced

At its 13th Annual Dinner Dance at the Crowne Plaza Gatwick recently, The Celtic and Irish Cultural Society (CICS) were pleased to announce that Larry Owens, one of Crawley’s very popular characters, was the Crawley Irish Person of the Year for 2008.

In front of a packed audience including His Worship, The Mayor of Crawley, Cllr Dr Howard Bloom and His Excellency, the Ambassador of Ireland Mr David Cooney, Chairman of The Emerald Club Bob Martin took great delight in announcing that Larry was this year’s recipient and went on to explain:

This award has been established by the Celtic & Irish Cultural Society to recognize one of our friends who has made a major contribution to Crawley over the years. The ‘Person of the Year’ award is bestowed on individuals who through their talent, resources and their actions will have made a significant impact on life in their adopted town of Crawley through their leadership and support.

Larry Owens is one of those people. He has spent the last 57 or so years in England. He met and married his wife Jean who comes from Southampton, and settled in Crawley to raise their family.

In his professional life, Larry had a very successful career in the Building industry employing young men who came over to Crawley looking for work, I believe from what I heard he was a tough but fair man to work for, a no nonsense type of employer.

Larry also has extended his leadership skills to the community, serving on committees such as the ex Post Office Club now Emerald Club and the Festival committee laying a foundation for the now very successful Celtic & Irish Cultural Society.”

Larry was presented with a crystal vase by Ambassador of Ireland Mr David Cooney. In accepting the award he declined to make a speech but afterwards said in a very unassuming way he was glad to be able to help out and felt he had done no more than the next man. All he wanted was to make Crawley a better place to live in and work in

The Dinner Dance, which helps to raise funds for the Crawley Irish Festival, was also honoured to welcome The Ambassador of Ireland Mr David Cooney who congratulated the CICS on the work they did and proposed a toast to Ireland. The Mayor Cllr Howard Bloom in proposing a toast to the CICS said he was looking forward to the St Patrick’s Parade in March. The Edmunds School of Irish Dancing provided post meal entertainment and music was provided byTheresa Rodgers and Wildflowers.

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