A DERRYLIN woman who worked as the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages in County Fermanagh for nearly 50 years has been awarded a New Year Honour.

Mrs. Lilian Thornton said she was “very surprised” after receiving a BEM for services to local government and the local community in her home county.

Mrs. Thornton began work in 1967 for the Fermanagh Health Committee as a deputy to the late Mr. Norman Hilliard, who gave her great guidance and taught her all the necessary skills.

She later transferred to the newly-formed Fermanagh District Council in 1973 and throughout her career saw many changes under the leadership of five Chief Executives.

The Derrylin woman enjoyed her career which entailed her meeting people who were joyful about the birth of a new baby and those who were excited about getting married and planning a new life together.

But she also met people in great times of sadness in their lives having lost a loved one, sometimes in tragic circumstances.

Mrs Thornton is married to Derek, and the couple have four children and eight grandchildren.

Since her retirement, she enjoys helping out on the family farm and caring for her grandchildren.