Harland and Wolff - Shipbuilding and Engineering Works

Chairman Alec Cooke with his wife Mrs Cooke. Mr Cooke was awarded an OBE in the New Years Honours List and went to Buckingham Palace to receive his decoration from the Queen.

Victor Alexander Cooke (Chairman 1980-1981)

Mr. Giles Shaw, Minister of State for Northern Ireland, announced on 31st October 1980 that Mr. V. A. Cooke, M.A., C.Eng., F.I.Mech.E., D.L., had been appointed Chairman of the Company to succeed Sir Brian Morton. Mr. Shaw said that the appointment would, at Mr. Cooke's own request, be for six months only. Mr. Cooke, who is 60, has been one of the Government nominated members of the Board of Directors since 1970.

He was educated at Mourne Grange School, Kilkeel; Marlborough College, Wiltshire; and Trinity College, Cambridge. He served with the Royal Navy as an Engineer Officer for six years before joining the Belfast engineering firm Henry R. Ayton Ltd. in 1946. He was Managing Director of that company, as well as being a member of the Board of Northern Ireland Airports Ltd.

Mr. Cooke is a former Chairman of the Belfast Savings Bank, and for eight years was a member of the Northern Ireland Senate. He retired from the Belfast Harbour Commission this year when the Commission was restructured.

Cooke became a Deputy Lieutenant of County Antrim in 1971 and was invested as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1981. He was created a life peer as Baron Cooke of Islandreagh, of Islandreagh in the County of Antrim, on 11 August 1992.

Lord Cooke died on the 13th November, 2007 following a long illness, aged 87.