MEMORIAL benches have been placed in honour of two dedicated women who were instrumental to a Barrhead charity. 

Rita Connelly was a founding member of the Auchenback Active Limited and held many posts including director, treasurer, fundraising co-ordinator and volunteer.

Irene Simpson was a long-standing member and served as a director, vice treasurer, fundraiser convenor and press correspondent.

Barrhead News: Members of the Auchenback community gathered to celebrate the lives of local heroines Rita Connelly

Paul O’Kane MSP joined members of the community to pay tribute to the stalwarts.

The commemoration of remembrance event took place at Auchenback Resource Centre (ARC) last week where Mr O'Kane joined chair of Auchenback Active Brian Connelly, councillor Danny Devlin, Provost Mary Montague and the families of Rita and Irene.

Two commemorative benches were presented and it was agreed that it would be a fitting tribute to erect them in the newly landscaped front garden.

The tribute coincides with the 20-year anniversary of the opening of the ARC.

Mr O’Kane said: “It was an honour to be invited along to this remembrance ceremony for two fantastic women who were a huge part of the success of the ARC.

“To share that moment with their families and the trustees of Auchenback Active was very special.

“The benches are a fitting tribute to Rita and Irene and I believe their legacies of all the people they helped over the years in the Auchenback community will live on.”

Barrhead News: The two women were instrumental in the creation and success of the Auchenback Resource Centre

Brian Connelly spokesperson for Auchenback Active Limited said: “The ARC started as a vision and opened its doors in 2004 and now we are celebrating 20 years of service.

“The ARC is "a building by the community for the community" and we cater for everyone who comes through our doors.

“The chair and the Board of Auchenback Active Limited saw it as a fitting tribute in this important year to commemorate remembrance benches in memory of Rita Connelly and Irene Simpson who both worked tirelessly for the ARC and community.

“We were joined by the families and invited guests. Tributes were read by Cllr Devlin, Paul O'Kane MSP, Provost Montague and Rt Hon Ken Macintosh on this very special occasion.”