Hundreds of official birthday beacons will burst into flames all over the UK on the night of the Queen’s 90th birthday on 21st April 2016.
When Royal Pageant Master Bruno Peek recently updated the ever-burgeoning list of festive celebrations around Britain he welcomed Enniskillen’s birthday event as “the most westerly beacon in the United Kingdom”.
After Her Majesty lights the Principal Beacon, Viscount Brookeborough, Lord Lieutenant for County Fermanagh, will formally light Enniskillen’s beacon at St. Macartin’s Cathedral, which will be a particularly significant feature of the town’s birthday celebrations. As the flames flare higher, two additional beams of light will pierce the night sky and intersect hundreds of feet above the island town.
The ‘crossing of lights’ poignantly symbolises the Queen’s historic visit to St. Macartin’s Church of Ireland Cathedral in 2012 for a Service of Thanksgiving to mark her Diamond Jubilee. Following her attendance at the service, the Queen crossed the street to St. Michael’s Roman Catholic Church, where she met representatives of the community. It also commemorates the 70th anniversary of Her Majesty’s first of three visits to Co. Fermanagh as a young Princess on the 20th March 1946.
Organised by local churches together with Enniskillen Rotary Club, those attending the Queen’s 90th birthday beacon celebrations will be able to enjoy complimentary light refreshments and music at the Jolly Sandwich, Darling Street at 6.00pm prior to a short interdenominational service led by the Cathedral choir in St. Macartin’s at 7.30pm. Everyone attending the service will receive a copy of ‘The Servant Queen and the King She Serves’, published by The Bible Society and uses the Queen’s own words to draw out the central role of her Christian faith and the Bible. After the service the Cathedral Bell Ringers will ring a special peal of bells in celebration as the birthday beacon is lit and the beams of light shine brightly into the night sky.
Monsignor Peter O'Reilly of St.Michael’s and Dean Kenneth Hall of St.Macartin’s extend an open invitation to the entire community of Enniskillen and beyond with the words ‘The Queen was warmly welcomed by the community of town and county when she came to Enniskillen. We return the honour she did us with our prayer and our remembering.’
Ken Rainey, President Enniskillen Rotary Club expressed his delight in supporting local churches with the planning of Her Majesty The Queen's 90th Birthday Beacons Event. Rotary International's theme for 2016 is 'Be a Gift to the World' and the Birthday Beacon Celebration Event is one of several local community projects Enniskillen Rotarians are actively involved with this year. Ken hopes that everyone will join them in celebrating this important milestone in the Queens life and is looking forward to Thursday 21st April. He acknowledged the help and support of local business’s including the Jolly Sandwich who will be providing refreshments for the event and Beatty Fuels & Flogas for sponsoring the gas for the Birthday Beacon.