Pauline honoured by New Year gong
Tuesday, 10 January 2017
AN 89-year-old Warrenpoint lady spoke of her shock at receiving an British Empire Medal (BEM) in the New Year's Honours list.
Pauline Grills was nominated for the gong by her friend, Christine O'Brien, for tirelessly giving her time for over 70 years to innumerable charitable and community projects.
Mrs Grills, a cancer survivor, said the last thing she expected to greet her on arriving home from a family vacation was such a prestigious honour.
She said: "I couldn't believe it, I'm really delighted with it because it's a great honour.
"I was on a cruise with my daughter before Christmas and returned home to find the letter at home waiting for me. It was a total shock when I opened it and found I was to be awarded a BEM."
Sport and community have always went hand in hand for Mrs Grills, and, extolling the virtues of recreational activity, especially amongst youngsters, she said: "I used to row in the eights down in Carrick-on-Shannon, against the Galway girls. I've always been into sport, I think it's got a great socialising side to it.
"I was born in Narrow Water, my father had a Grade A milk farm and I had four brothers and they were into sport, the swimming pool was there at the time.
"There were galas and everything and they would do the high dive and lots of others activities. I hear that they're going to start up the swimming pool again for the young people, which is brilliant.
"A lot of young people are playing on computers and they're not doing any sort of exercise so, I think, they should be encouraged to take up sport," lamented Mrs Grills.
The badminton-loving OAP was also part of a calendar shoot that raised in excess of £8,000 for charity 10 years ago.
"I remember doing a calendar for Cancer Research about 10 years ago-we raised over £8,000."
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