Mr James Strachan Buchan, aged 71, called home suddenly on 23rd August while working at Port Seton harbour. He was born in Peterhead into a fishing family, but due to poor eyesight was unable to follow the family tradition at sea. However, he joined his fathers ship chandlers business serving the seagoing community. He later became a salesman for Cosalt promoting their chandlers business and eventually rose to chief sales representative. He started his own company, JSB Supplies, with outlets all round the Scottish coast and served the fishing community faithfully - always ready to turn out to provide what was needed, even when his health was failing. He was active in lobbying on behalf of the UK fishing industry at all levels of Government. James trusted Christ as his Saviour as a teenager after his Sunday School teacher was lost at sea. He and Agnes his wife were in fellowship in Peterhead till they moved to Longniddry in 1974 and came into fellowship in Viewforth Gospel Hall, Port Seton where James taught in Sunday School for many years - a generous, caring, compassionate brother. He was a loving husband to Agnes, father to Suzanne and Gwendolyn, and grandfather to his eight grandchildren who will miss him greatly. A service was held in Chalmers Memorial Church, Port Seton in order to accommodate all who came from far and wide to pay their respects. George Booth from Gardenstown gave a challenging gospel message to the large company.
Mrs Gertie Clingen (née Reilly), called home on 6th August, aged 73, after a period of illness. She was saved in 1945 at the tender age of 7 and received into fellowship in the Donegal Road assembly, moving to the Newtownbreda assembly in 1959 when her parents relocated to that town. She was most faithful in attending all assembly meetings and her presence will be sadly missed. Given to hospitality and faithfulness to God, she was a true help-meet to her husband. She leaves a husband, one son and two daughters, and their spouses, all in assembly fellowship, and five grandchildren. Prayer is requested for them and for the wider family circle some of whom are not saved. Her large funeral was conducted by W J Nesbitt and Sam Ferguson assisted by local brethren.
Mrs Betty Cordiner was called home to be with the Lord in June. She was saved in 1953, aged 16, in the Salvation Army. Two years later, she was baptised and received into fellowship in Prince Street Hall, Peterhead. Tragically she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis when aged 21 and as a result suffered pain and debility all her life. This was borne with great courage and an uncomplaining spirit. Through her experience of constant pain, she was able to encourage others. Her husband Andrew cared for her affectionately for 54 years, and her family bears witness to her selflessness and Christian testimony.
Mrs Wilma Grant was called into the presence of her Lord on 18th July. Born in Leswalt (Stranraer) she moved to Drongan (Ayrshire) where she was born again as a girl, baptised, and received into assembly fellowship. Shortly after her marriage to John, they moved from Drongan to Ayr where they opened a Guest House. Over a period of seventeen years many of the Lords people enjoyed their hospitality. Originally in Victoria Hall in Ayr, John and Wilma were among the founding members of Woodpark assembly in 1971. Wilma was a quiet, consistent, faithful, and much loved sister who was committed to all aspects of the assembly activities. She is greatly missed and prayer would be valued for her husband and the family.
Mr Alexander McConnell, aged 91, on 2nd August. Saved at the age of 16 when the Ayrshire Gospel Tent was pitched at Plann, he was baptised shortly afterwards and received into fellowship in the assembly which now meets at Crosshouse. From the outset, Alex entered into all assembly activities with enthusiasm, his spiritual growth greatly helped by esteemed local brethren such as the late David McKinnon. His zeal remained undimmed over the passing years despite increasing hearing difficulties. He relocated to Ayr in 1964 and after seven years at Victoria Hall moved to Woodpark when the assembly was established in 1971. His leadership qualities were much valued in the new assembly and it was often a source of satisfaction to him to see effective outreach into the local community. He also served as a convener of the Ayr Bible Readings for many years and had an excellent testimony throughout Ayrshire. Prayer would be valued for his widow Jean and the family.
Mr J C Patterson, in his 92nd year. Saved in early life at meetings conducted by Mr H Baillie, he was for many years in the former Lessans assembly. He was interested in the work of the gospel especially amongst the young. Of later years he was in the Ballymagarrick assembly where he was esteemed and loved. The large hall was filled for his funeral service conducted by J G Hutchinson and S Thompson assisted by R Pickering, S Glenn, S Thompson, J Rogers, and S Glenn. Many who do not attend gospel meetings heard the clear and plain message in the hall and at the grave. Prayer valued for the family, many in Christ.
Mrs Elizabeth Redmond, aged 72, was called into the presence of the Lord on 31st August after several years of poor health. She was saved as a girl of 16 through the words of John 6.37 and was later baptized and received into the assembly in Bloomfield, Belfast. On the occasion of her marriage to Robert in September, 1965 she was received into the fellowship of the assembly in Dromore where she remained with her husband until her homecall. She was a faithful member of the assembly, a true helpmeet to her husband, and a loving, caring mother to Andrew, Janice and Allison. Her funeral service was from her home in Dromore and was conducted by brethren John Rogers and John Fleck, with Dennis Graham and Bertie Tinsley taking part in prayer. Her husband and family will appreciate the prayers of the Lords people.
Mrs Elizabeth (Betty) Russell, aged 91, was called home on 29th July. Born in Killeter Co. Tyrone in 1920, Betty was the eldest of four children born to Johnnie and Madge Barclay. As a young girl of 15 years she was saved in Greduff Gospel Hall under the preaching of David Craig and Sam Lewis. Married at 21 to George Russell, Betty became a well-known business woman and post mistress in Killeter and Clady (near Strabane). In 1956 the family moved to Tandragee Co. Armagh where she again set up business. With her family she attended Greduff, Strabane and Ahorey assemblies, before emigrating to Australia in 1977, where she belonged to Dandenong assembly in Victoria. She was a person who lived her life to please the Lord, being given to generous hospitality, the support of many missionaries, and faithful intercessory prayer. Many were blessed by her hand. She is survived by her six children Eric, Carol, Robin, Des, Sylvia and Pearl - 14 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren. Her husband of 57 years, George Russell, pre-deceased her in 1998. In recent years Betty became poorly with dementia and it was a very sad time for the family to watch this bright, intelligent, faithful and Godly woman decline into a shell of her former self. The family is so thankful to God for a life well-lived and the great spiritual legacy that has been bestowed on them by both of their parents. Through their lives, they left a rich inheritance which hopefully will be passed on to generations to come. Betty Russell was a woman who loved her Lord and sought to serve Him in His strength all the days of her life. Truly we can look back on her life and say, "Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies Her children arise up, and call her blessed" (Prov 31.10 and 28).
Mr Thomas Hugh Strahan, aged 84, called home on 27th August, was born into a farming family in the Braid valley. In 1945 the late Jack Noble had a series of fruitful gospel meetings when many were saved, among whom were Thomas Hugh and a young girl, Hannah McBurney (later to become his wife). They had five daughters whom he had the joy of seeing saved, but, sadly, he was widowed over thirty years ago. As a farmer Thomas Hugh introduced many technological innovations, and in later life was greatly interested in restoring vintage tractors. He was a man of few words but he walked with God in peace and equity (Mal 2.6). In his last illness he was well cared for by his family, and the very large funeral, attended by many locals and vintage tractor enthusiasts from all over Ireland, showed the respect in which he was held. Tom Boyle, a cousin and life long friend, paid fitting tribute while Norrie Emerson brought messages of comfort and challenge.
Mrs Grace Wilkinson was called home on 29th July, in her 94th year, having been lovingly cared for by the staff at Faith House for the past 8 years. She was saved in 1935 at meetings conducted by Joe Stewart and Adam Buick and received into fellowship in the Crosskeys assembly, moving to the Clonkeen assembly in 1939 on her marriage to Robert Wilkinson. She moved to the Antrim assembly with her husband in 1975 on retirement, and returned to Clonkeen after the death of her husband in 1998. She was marked by a quiet, discrete, godly manner, by faithfulness to God, and was a true helpmeet to her husband. She leaves 4 sons and their wives, 10 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren. Her large funeral was conducted by James G Hutchinson in Randalstown Gospel Hall, and by Carson McDowell at the graveside, assisted by local brethren from the Antrim and Clonkeen assemblies.
Mr Henry Wiper, aged 92, was called home on 4th August. He was saved at the age of 13 in January, 1932 when a gospel tent was pitched behind his home in Flockton, West Yorkshire. Later, Henry was baptised at Joseph Street Gospel Hall in Leeds. He married Marian in 1944 and the same year came into fellowship at Saville Road Hall, Skelmanthorpe, West Yorkshire. He was faithful and interested in all the activities of the assembly. After a short time of poor health, Henry was taken into Croftlands Care Home, Kirkburton, Huddersfield from where he was called home. Philip Kaye spoke at the hall and the graveside. Prayer is valued for his wife Marian (89), son David and daughter Jean and family, including 4 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren.