Decorations for the Ieper Last Post Association
On 14 April 2016 three members of the Last Post Association received decorations during a presentation ceremony at the Town Hall in Ieper. The presentations were made by Mr. Jan Durnez (the Burgomaster of Ieper), Mr. Christophe Onraet (Military Commander Province of West-Flanders) and Mr. Ian Hussein (Director CWGC) in recognition of their tireless and selfless devotion to the perpetuation of the memory of the victims of the First World Great War through their work on behalf of the Ieper Last Post Association.
The three members in question are Vice-Chairman Mathieu Mottrie, Secretary Ian Connerty and Bugler Jan Callemein, who will respectively receive decorations as Officer in the Leopold Order, Knight in the Crown Order and Knight in the Order of Leopold II.
Ian Connerty is our secretary and has been active in the organization since 1996. He is also the author of two books about the Last Post Association: ‘The Last Post, 30,000 Daily Tributes to the Fallen of the Great War’, which was published to mark the 30,000th Last Post Ceremony in 2015, and ‘At The Going Down of the Sun - 365 Soldiers of the Great War’, which was published on the occasion of the 25,000th Last Post Ceremony in 2002.
Mathieu Mottrie is Vice-Chairman-Operations and has been a member of the board of directors of the Last Post Association since 2002. Amongst his many other contributions, he is the guiding hand behind ‘The Great War Remembered’ concert that takes place each year on 11 November in Ieper Cathedral. This highly respected and professionally organized event will be held for the 13th time in 2016.
Jan Callemein has been a Last Post Bugler since 29 May 2008. Together with his other six colleagues, he helps to ensure that the Last Post is played every day under the Menin Gate in Ieper, come rain or shine. In total, Jan has played during almost 1,500 ceremonies. In 2012, he was a member of the Last Post delegation that visited Australia.
Chairman Benoit Mottrie comments: “These decorations underline the efforts made by our many volunteers, each in his own field of expertise. With our dedicated team of 25 people, we continue to organize the daily playing of the Last Post under the Menin Gate Memorial. We do everything we can to ensure that the ceremony continues to be a fitting tribute to those who died for our freedom. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those whose hard work on behalf of the Last Post Association makes this possible.”