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Special Garden Project Remembers Norman Houston OBE

Norman was a great friend of Integrated Education

June 22, 2022

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Friends and family of the late Norman Houston OBE attended a special ceremony at Corran Integrated Primary School in Larne on Tuesday 24th June, to officially open a Garden project in memoriam of the late diplomat.

Norman Houston passed away suddenly in January of 2021, shortly after retiring as Director of the Northern Ireland Bureau in Washington. His unique role saw him act as ambassador in all but name for Northern Ireland to successive governments in both the United States and Canada.

Joining the civil service straight from school in 1975, Norman would go on to become a regular fixture in the Oval Office, presenting local politicians to three different Presidents and advocating for an end to segregated communities in Northern Ireland.

For the past year the Integrated Education Fund (IEF) has been involved in a special project to remember Norman. He was a great supporter of the organisation and its aims, and we are thrilled to honour his contribution by way of a special Garden Project in partnership with Corran Integrated Primary School in Larne, Norman’s hometown.

This has been made possible thanks to a generous donation by Monah and Alan Gettner in New York through the Ireland Funds. Norman introduced Monah and Alan to our work many years ago and they have remained committed supporters ever since.

Baroness May Blood, Campaign Chair of the IEF said:

“Norman was a great advocate for Integrated Education, and for Northern Ireland as a whole. While he could open doors in the White House and charm the rich and powerful, he never forgot his roots, and always kept an eye out for the young people visiting Washington as part of the various exchange and intern programmes.

It’s wonderful to return to Larne where Norman grew up and this wonderful project is the perfect way to remember a man who quietly worked to change history.”