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Warm tributes at funeral of charity champion hit by car while out cycling

By Angela Rainey

Published 26/07/2016

David Catherwood with his wife Janet
David Catherwood with his wife Janet
Mourners at David Catherwood's funeral yesterday

Tributes have been paid to a much-loved father and keen charity fundraiser, killed as he cycled on the A2.

East Belfast man David Catherwood (61), who owned Ambassador Security Systems, was described as someone "who would have brightened up anyone's day".

He died last Tuesday when he was involved in an early morning collision with a car.

Mr Catherwood is survived by wife of over 30 years Janet and their children Kathryn, Rachel, Philip, Rebecca and Alan.

He was remembered as a devout Christian and member of Mountpottinger Methodist Church, Albertbridge, where the achievements of his life, which included many charity and community works, were commemorated yesterday at his funeral.

More than 1,000 people came to pay their respects at the service, which was conducted by the Rev Tom McKnight and ex-president of the Methodist Church of Ireland Brian Anderson.

The service was opened by a piper playing Amazing Grace followed by the congregation singing his favourite hymn, Be Still For The Presence Of The Lord.

Rev McKnight said that he had been such a big presence that the church had not yet truly come to terms with his loss.

"Davy had a deep Christian commitment and was great fun and was full of character, yet a quiet witness in so many ways," he said.

"He was always doing so much charity work but never made a big deal out of it - that was typical of Davy, to extend his compassion beyond home missions.

"He was a true inspiration who had an impact on everyone who knew him and many of whom became closer to Christ because of him.

"Davy is a devastating loss to the church family, of which we have yet to experience the true impact, but we will continue to uphold Janet and his family in prayer as they go through this difficult time."

Mr Catherwood was celebrated "as easygoing, always happy and a real encourager of people, who was a true witness for God".

A member of Cycle 4 Christ for the last two years, his team-mates wore their club jerseys over their suits as the service ended as a mark of respect.

Chairman of the club George Smyth said: "It was to honour Davy and it was very moving.

"Davy joined a couple of years ago and was always helping out in whatever way he could, whether it be cycling, marshalling or encouraging others to just do their best. He will definitely be missed.

"He was a great man who made everyone feel warm and at home, and nothing was ever too much trouble for him."

A member of the 10th Belfast Boys' Brigade for more than 30 years, where he served as captain, Mr Catherwood's service to the organisation was marked with the final hymn, Will Your Anchor Hold Strong In The Storms Of Life.

A piper led the procession out before Mr Catherwood was taken to Roselawn for burial.

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