Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 27 August 2014

Family of senior civil servant who died while fishing on the North Coast say he was a 'man in a million'

Stanley Duncan (57) was chief executive of the Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA)
Stanley Duncan (57) was chief executive of the Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA)
The harbour in Portstewart where senior civil servant Stanley Duncan was brought to after falling into the sea on Tuesday night
The harbour in Portstewart where senior civil servant Stanley Duncan was brought to after falling into the sea on Tuesday night
Coleraine Coastguard at the scene in Portstewart
Coleraine Coastguard at the scene in Portstewart

The family of a senior civil servant who died while fishing on the North Coast have said he was a man in a million.

Chief executive of the Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) Stanley Duncan (57) died earlier this week after he fell into the water while fishing at Portstewart, Co Londonderry.

Ministers, colleagues and friends have paid tribute to the Comber man for his dedication to his job and his charity efforts.

A family statement released tonight said: "He was a man in a million."

Mr Duncan fell from rocks on Tuesday night close to Portstewart harbour and was recovered from the water by a lifeboat aided by nearby fishermen who held him against the rocks until help arrived. He died in hospital.

The graduate of Friends School Lisburn and Queen's University Belfast joined the Northern Ireland Civil Service after university and had served in a variety of roles for the past 36 years, including a spell in the office of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Growing up on a farm in the heart of Co Down as the third in a family of four, he developed a great love for the outdoors, and would probably have liked most to have been a farmer, his family said.

"He did a bit of sea-fishing, but was particularly fond of hill-walking and camping, and his garden in Comber is a haven for all kinds of small birds, where the bird-table is always laid," the statement added.

In his younger days he played hockey for Friends Old Boys, and competed at quite a high level in motocross.

The family said: "The other great mark of Stan's life was his Christian service, expressed in a host of ways through his church, The Crescent Church on University Road in Belfast."

For many years he led one of the uniformed organisations connected to the church, the EBR (Every Boy's Rally), and on two occasions organised large international youth camps in Northern Ireland involving boys and girls from New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and India, as well as from Northern Ireland.

His interests with the church ranged widely, and in recent years he has led teams to Poland, Hungary, Romania and Kosovo and had a particular passion for the people of Albania, which he has visited at least once a year since around 1999. For the past number of years he has also served as one of the elders of his church.

He is survived by his wife Wendy, daughters Victoria (29) and Ruth (28) and Ruth's husband Ed, as well as by his parents Cecil (90) and Sally (92) and by siblings John, Valerie and David and their families.

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