Mr William McKaig Banks, aged 68, called into the presence of the Lord on 12th October. Saved as a boy in 1952 after hearing his father Adam present the gospel in Sunday school, he was baptised in 1958 and received into the assembly in Dreghorn. After marriage to Elizabeth they were in fellowship in the assembly at Loan Hall, Stevenston where he was involved in the childrens work and in gospel preaching. They came to Kilwinning assembly in 1982 where he has been a great help, committing himself to the work of the assembly as a beloved brother and overseer. He and Elizabeth opened their hearts and their home, and sweet fellowship was enjoyed with them in the things of God and in hymn singing. Many of the Lords servants enjoyed their hospitality, sometimes over several weeks. For the last 2 years William has had a serious illness, which was borne with patience and cheerfulness. His positive attitude was a testimony to all. The last 8 weeks were spent in his daughters home where he was lovingly cared for by his family until his homecall. The large funeral was a tribute to the respect that both believers and non-believers had for him. Please remember in prayer his wife Elizabeth, daughter Jacqueline and son Raymond, and their spouses and families, and his two sisters.
Mr Alfred "Boy" Blackall, aged 86, on 15th December. He was born in Reading, the only boy in a family of seven, and so known affectionately as "Boy" by all who knew him. After five years perilous Merchant Navy war service, Boy came to Cullen where he met and married Marie, his wife for 63 years. Following his salvation under the preaching of Harry Burness in 1949, Boy was received into the Cullen assembly. There he continued, with the exception of 2 years in Avoch assembly, until his homecall. Our brother was a self-effacing, humble, Christian gentleman who bore increasingly ill health with cheerfulness and dignity. He is greatly missed. Please remember Marie and the family in prayer.
Mrs Kathleen Booth, of Kingsmills, County Tyrone, aged 88, went to be with Christ on 4th November. Our sister was saved on 9th July, 1936 during gospel meetings conducted by Mr Charles Fleming. Some time later she was baptised and received into the local assembly where she remained in happy fellowship until her homecall. Mrs Booth was a godly woman and a good mother to her two sons and one daughter. Together with her late husband, Rex, she had the joy of seeing her family all saved and received into assembly fellowship. The very large attendance at the funeral was a fitting tribute to her testimony in the locality. The services at the home and graveside were conducted by James Martin and David Gilliland.
Mr Leslie Day, aged 78, was called home very unexpectedly after a hospital procedure followed by complications which resulted in pneumonia. He was saved as a boy of 12 in Swindon. When doing his National Service in Bristol he met and married Barbara in 1954. He was associated with the assemblies at Dean Hall, Ealing; Wellington Road Gospel Hall, Hounslow; Beacon Hall, Loughborough; Emmanuel Hall, Hersham; Falcon Lodge Chapel, Sutton Coldfield; Langdale Evangelical Church, Dunstable; and latterly Birdsfoot Gospel Hall, Luton. He had been an elder in most of the assemblies he attended and was well-known for his cheery smile. He was always willing to visit the sick and housebound saints and to give help in various situations. He will be greatly missed by his wife, three children, and five grandchildren. Prayer is requested for those who are unsaved in the family.
Mr John Kernaghan, aged 82, called home on 26th November. He was saved as a young boy under the preaching of Mr David Craig in Banbridge. After his marriage to Eunice, daughter of Mr and Mrs Albert McShane, they lived in Londonderry, before coming to Bangor in 1975, and to Ebenezer Gospel Hall, where John was a highly esteemed elder. He loved his Bible, and was devoted to the Lords people and his family. The large funeral in Ebenezer Gospel Hall was conducted by D Gilliland and J Fleck, assisted by local brethren.
Mrs Eveline Lees, aged 89, of Kingsmills assembly, was called home on 20th December. Our esteemed sister was saved in her late teens on 4th November, 1939 while attending meetings held by Mr Frank Knox in Cregagh Street. The hymn, Look at my hands and see, I bore the names for thee, I died to set thee free; Come and rejoice, was used by God in her salvation. She was marked by a sincere love for Christ and faithfulness to the assembly in Kingsmills of which she was, together with her late husband Henry, a most devoted member for 60 years. She loved the gospel and, over her long life, attended consistently as the message was preached. Many heard the greatest news through tracts and personal conversations from our dear sister. The family friends and assembly are going to miss her very much. Quite a few local people with others heard the gospel faithfully preached at her funeral services conducted by Mr Samuel McBride and Mr John Rogers, assisted by Mr Matthew McKillen.
Mr John Mitchell, aged 80, passed into the presence of the Lord on 18th December after a long illness. John was saved as a young soldier during his 2nd year of National Service, part of which was spent in Egypt. Whilst there he was introduced to Christians who explained to him Gods way of salvation, and as a result he saw his need to trust the Lord as his Saviour. Returning home after demobilisation Johns desire was to follow the Lord and be obedient to His Word. He eventually was brought into contact with believers of like mind who met in the Gospel Hall at Plains. His reading of the Scriptures and their influence upon him led to his being exercised about baptism and assembly fellowship. In 1958 John and his wife Margaret moved to Aberdeen and were associated with the Fountain Hall Assembly. His love for the Lord was evident in his testimony, obedience to His Word, and faithful attendance at all the assembly gatherings. He was also for many years the correspondent and a much respected elder. His passing is keenly felt by all who knew him. We remember in prayer his dear wife Margaret and all the family.
Mr Andrew Neely, aged 62. Andrew patiently bore a serious illness over the past four years. He passed quietly, with his immediate family at his bedside, into the presence of the Lord in the early hours of 9th November. He was saved at meetings near his home conducted by Mr Harold Paisley in 1972. Andrew proved the reality of salvation by a life which could only be described as "lovely and pleasant". A faithful member of the Ahoghill assembly, even during the years of his illness, he will be much missed. Prayer valued for his widow Margaret, daughter Andrea, and son-in-law Stephen, all in assembly fellowship. The very large company which filled the Gospel Hall for the funeral service was a testimony to the esteem in which he was held. Messages of comfort were given by Mr Robin McKeown and Mr Willie Fenton, assisted by local brethren, and Mr Robert Kernaghan, Margarets brother.
Mr Sam Wilgar, aged 83, called home on 10th November. Sam was commended to Cregagh Street assembly in 1990 from Holborn assembly, Bangor, and faithfully attended all the assembly meetings. He gave much help in a practical way and in ministry to the saints. He was predeceased by his wife Jean, for whom he devotedly cared as she did not enjoy good health. His funeral service in Cregagh Street Gospel Hall was conducted by Mr Jim Flanigan and Mr Tom Adamson. Mr Paul McCauley prayed at the graveside.