TRIBUTES have been paid to “pipe band legend” Frank Andrews who has passed away.
Mr Andrews from Maboy Road near Portglenone, who died on Sunday, had been a member of the McNeillstown Pipe Band for more than 60 years.
As tributes came in from pipe bands across Northern Ireland, a spokesperson for McNeillstown Pipe Band said on social media they were “deeply shocked and saddened at the sudden death of our highly esteemed band member and friend, Frank Andrews.”
Their statement continued: “Frank passed away suddenly at his home on the Maboy Road, Portglenone, on Sunday 8th March 2020.
“Frank was a committed, dedicated and loyal member of McNeillstown Pipe Band. He first joined the band, aged 11 years, in 1957 and remained in the band until his sad passing.
“In 1969, Frank was appointed Pipe Major of McNeillstown Pipe Band, a position he held until the year 2000.
“The band first entered competitions in 1972. Under Frank’s guidance and leadership, McNeillstown Pipe Band successfully progressed through the grades, eventually qualifying to play in Grade One. Throughout this time, the band achieved numerous successes under Frank.
“Frank continued in the role of Pipe Sergeant, making a huge contribution to the further success of the band. Frank was a man of many musical talents. He had a unique “ear for sound. Above all Frank was a much loved, kind, humble family man.
“Frank was always approachable, always encouraging, always full of sound advice in every way.
“The band extends its sincere sympathy to Frank’s wife Sally, daughters, Helen, Heather, Julie and Ruth. Sons James, John and David. Sister Edith and brother Bobby, grandchildren and all the family circle.”
Also on social media, one man said: “I am in shock at this news the piping world has lost a titan. His musical genius will live on.”
Another person said: “A pipe band legend and a wonderful man”.
A funeral notice on the site of James Henry Funeral Services in Ballymena said: ‘Andrews Frank 8th March 2020, suddenly at his home, 23 Maboy Road, Portglenone. Dearly loved husband of Sally, loving dad of Helen, Heather, Julie, James, John, David and Ruth, dear father-in-law of Steven, Keith, Nigel, Barbara, Nikki, Lynsey and Chris, a devoted grandfather of all his 16 grandchildren and dear brother of Edith and Bobby.
‘Funeral service in 1st Portglenone Presbyterian Church on Thursday 12th March at 1pm. Interment afterwards Portglenone Church of Ireland Churchyard. No flowers please, donations in lieu, if desired, may be sent to James Henry Funeral Service 100 Broughshane Street, Ballymena BT43 6EE for Air Ambulance.
‘Friends and family welcome at the home of his son and daughter-in-law, James and Barbara, 124 Townhill Road, Portglenone. Will be sadly missed by his wife and all the family circle. “Safe in the arms of Jesus”.