The work of Wallace High School senior teacher, Bill Wilson, was recently recognised by The Torch Trophy Trust at a reception in Pall Mall, London.
The Torch Trophy Trust has its origins in the 1948 Olympics held in London. Before every Olympic Games, a torch relay is organised from Athens to the Host City. Following the 1948 Games, the Torch designed for the last leg of the Relay into Wembley Stadium was presented to the Trust, which presents Awards to individuals who have been identified as making an outstanding contribution as a volunteer in their chosen sport.
Bill was nominated for the Award by Colin Henderson from the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme. Colin commented,”As leader in charge of The Wallace High School Award Unit for more than 25 years, Bill has led a team with dedication, good humour and a total commitment for the younger citizens of Northern Ireland. He remains a tremendous example in school and community life. The Wallace Unit is ranked as one of the most successful in the province in terms of awards gained and overall participation.
Bill not only helps Wallace pupils, but also acts as an expedition assessor with the Mournes Wild Country panel, selflessly giving countless weekends to help other young people. He has always sought to give young people a rich experience and has organised many expeditions to mountain ranges in both the republic of Ireland and to the Pyrenees.
It is thanks to Bill and his superb inspirational leadership that thousands of young people in northern Ireland have made very personal journeys, finding hidden depths and talents within themselves as they undertake demanding but ultimately meaningful expeditions and as they undertake countless hours of service to their communities. Many youth organisations would have struggled to find adequate leadership over the years if it had not been for the pupils from Wallace’s Duke of Edinburgh Unit.”
Bill, who was accompanied to the ceremony by his wife June and elder daughter Vicky, was presented with his Award by Her Royal Highness the Countess of Wessex. As only two people from throughout Northern Ireland to receive an Award, Bill was justifiably proud. He commented, “This trophy came as a complete surprise. I must admit it was really great to be recognised in this way, however I could never have run the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme here in Wallace without the help of many other staff over the years. Therefore I see the Torch Trophy as a way of recognising all those who have contributed to the scheme over the years and not just myself.”
Last modified: October 16, 2007