Alderman Joan Baird pays tribute to Mrs Joan Christie CVO OBE

Former Mayor of Causeway Coast & Glens Joan Baird OBE has paid tribute to Mrs Joan Christie CVO OBE who passed away following a tragic accident last week.

Speaking to Causeway Coast Community this morning Alderman Baird said “I met Mrs. Christie on many occasions and got to know her much better when I was Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens in 2017/18.

“Joan was a fantastic person and although she held such a high-status role, she had a great skill in making people feel valued and at ease. In 2018 as Mayor, I had the privilege of presenting her with the Freedom of the Borough. Although a very formal event, the day sticks out in my memory as a very happy jovial occasion.

“Joan always enjoyed a laugh, especially when at her own expense. I recall the time when I was Mayor and attended a polo match at Dundarave. On arrival, I was ushered to a podium and asked to “throw the ball” to start the match. Getting ready for the challenge, which meant pitching a heavy ball over a high fence towards some horsemen, the announcement was made over the tannoy – “Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant will now pitch the ball!!! At this, I tried to stop proceedings protesting that I was only the Mayor – but the organisers said the horses were lined up and they couldn’t wait.

“I duly started the match and later found Joan had been sent to the wrong marquee. I started a lengthy apology but a few seconds in Joan started to laugh and the day I impersonated her became a long-standing joke between us.”