Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Ex-Lord Mayor Sir William Christie dies at 95

Former Lord Mayor of Belfast Sir William Christie, who survived numerous terrorist attacks and supported his wife after a near fatal shooting, has died at 95.

Sir William wore the mayoral chains as an Ulster Unionist during one of the bleakest periods of Northern Ireland’s history between 1972-1975.

But his family have said that despite numerous bomb attacks on his house, businesses and loved ones, he was “determined to represent the city as a whole”.

His daughter Pearl Marlborough, 72, said he was proud to have been Lord Mayor throughout the some of the “darkest days.”

“One of the most important things he said was, ‘I have agreed to be Lord Mayor, not of one part of the city, but of the whole city’, he meant everybody.

“He never thought about leaving. In spite of how bad it got.”

While living in south Belfast the Christie’s home was targeted by bombers and, according to his family, numerous attempts were made to kill him as a public figure.

The worst incident was in 1972 when Lady Christie was shot in the head in their Malone Road home. She managed to survive.

“These youngsters had turned up at the house threatening to kill my mother. She wrestled with one of them and was then shot in the head. She told me after it happened that she was so angry with them when they came into the house. “She said to me, ‘Anything we have had we have always had to work for and I wasn't going to put up with it’.

Mrs Marlborough was living in the north of England at the time and heard about a bomb in Malone Road.

“I couldn’t get through and turned on the television and there was my father saying ‘my wife was a very brave woman. I thought she was dead’.”

The family business Christie’s Wallpaper Ltd was also constantly targeted with bombs.

Mrs Marlborough said her father, who died last Sunday in Crawfordsburn, was very proud to have had the title Lord Mayor.

“It was an extremely difficult time for my parents,” she added.

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