TRIBUTES have been paid to one of the prime movers responsible for putting Broughshane on the map in recent years, Ian Wilson MBE, who has died at the age of 61.
Mr Wilson and his colleagues and friends in the Broughshane community put in a tremendous amount of hard work in the village which won it much success in environmental competitions.
The village is now known as the ‘Garden Village of Ulster’ and has achieved numerous awards, including Channel Four’s UK Village of the Year 2018, Ulster in Bloom, Britain in Bloom, the European Entente Florale and Nations in Bloom, amongst others.
Lexi Scott, Chairperson of Broughshane Community Association, told the Belfast Telegraph: “Ian Wilson was one of the stalwarts of the Broughshane Community Association since its early years, helping with the transformation of the old disused factory which the community made into the village’s community centre.
“Ian and his twin brother Sandy were heavily involved in the community’s development from then on. Ian was the sort of bloke who could have got 20 people onto the street working at the drop of a hat,” Mr Scott said.
“We are all missing him, none more so than his family circle.”
Mr Scott said that without exception the people he had spoken to had paid glowing tributes to Ian’s work and his contribution to his community.
Mr Wilson had been suffering from cancer, he added.
“He had been very ill this last week to ten days. It was a recurrence of cancer he’d first battled three or four years ago,” he said.
Councillors Beth Adger and Beth Clyde said Mr Wilson would be sorely missed by the local community.
“Ian did great work in Broughshane, him and his brother Sandy,” Councillor Adger said.
“They really brought Broughshane into the limelight. He was a great fellow and it’s very sad news that he’s gone.
“Along with his brother Sandy, Ian was one of the people who started up the improvement and the flowering of Broughshane.
“Broughshane was like a wee forgotten village and just look at it now.
“People come from miles around to see it – it’s been transformed.”
Councillor Clyde added: “Ian was very well thought of. My sympathies are very much with his partner Cathy and his two daughters, Laura and Victoria, and the whole family circle.”
Mr Wilson’s daughters said that they were “devastated” by their father’s death.
Posting on Facebook, they wrote: “We are devastated by the loss but also incredibly grateful for all the kind wishes and support we have received so far from the very many people who came to know daddy over the years and considered him a friend.”
A notice on the Funeral Times website said:
‘The death has occurred of John Agnew (Ian) WILSON MBE
‘Passed away December 19th, 2018, peacefully at Belfast City Hospital, late of Old Corby Mill, 28 Limavallaghan Road, Clough, much loved partner of Cathy, loving father of Laura and Victoria, devoted grandfather of Oliver, Emma and Owen, a dear brother of Emma and twin brother of Sandy and will be missed by Anna, Peter, Christopher and Archer.
‘Funeral will leave Broughshane Community Centre on Saturday at 11.30am for a Service of Thanksgiving in St Patrick’s Parish Church, Broughshane, at 12noon followed by burial in adjoining Cemetery.
‘Family flowers only please. Donations in lieu if desired and payable to Friends of the Cancer Centre C/o Alan Francey Funeral Services, 94, Toome Road, Ballymena BT42 2BU.
‘Will be lovingly remembered and sadly missed by the entire family circle and friends at home and abroad.’