Saddened more than most by the pending closure of Aldergrove as a fully-operational RAF base is Lord Jim Molyneaux of Killead.
The former Ulster Unionist leader (88) grew up on the very edge of the camp and has been a regular caller all his life.
Every Sunday morning since boyhood he has taken his place in the choir of St Catherine's Parish Church — the only civilian place of worship inside a military base anywhere in the UK.
In fact Lord Jim, the only man in the chorale, has his own special chair in the choir box, presented to him by the Killead parish in recognition of his long service in politics and his time at St Catherine's.
He was baptised in this picturesque little church and has been singing in the choir ever since, except for his war service — in the RAF.
"In my teenage years," he recalls, "I had an obsession with the RAF and flying generally, simply because my family lived just up the road from the camp. With homework completed, I would squat on the boundaries and keep a critical eye on the trainee pilots. It was inevitable that I would join up in the RAF in 1941 and see wartime service that took me right to the gates of Belsen to witness all the horrors of that concentration camp.
"Aldergrove has been a special place for me and I make a point of being in that chair every Sunday morning for worship. Occasionally I meet a young man and his wife from the RAF or the Army Air Corps who drop in at St Catherine's and I can chat about military affairs."
Lord Molyneaux heard the news of the dramatic changes at Aldergrove while he was in the House of Lords which he regularly attends despite his age.
The news that the current holder of the office David Stubbs is likely to be the last permanent Station Commander as 230 Squadron prepares to pull out over the next two years came as no big surprise. There have been rumours that Aldergrove would be slowly downsized. But he must find it ironic that word of the virtual close down of RAF Aldergrove, founded 1918 and fully operational by 1925 when he was five years old, comes after a dinner in Aldergrove hosted by the Station Commander to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the RAF.
Only a year ago next month Prince Charles unveiled a window of peace in St Catherine's Church when Station Commander Stubbs said was a permanent thank you and reminder of the debt owed to all the people who served at the base.
Now the shutters are about to come down on the last RAF base in the province — one that played such a vital role with Coastal Command in the Battle of the Atlantic during the war.