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Grieving: Sir James Galway



SIR James Galway is grieving today for the schoolteacher whom he says first taught him to appreciate good music.

Widower George Power, who was at Mountcollyer Secondary in Belfast in the early 1950s when the young James was a pupil there, has died at his home in Carrickfergus at the age of 89.

"He taught my class music appreciation and I learned about the great composers and the great pieces they wrote from him," said Sir James.

"I learned the finer points of music from George and he explained how classical tunes like The Blue Danube, for example, came to be written."

Mr Power, who in the 1950s lived at Upper Cavehill Road, became headmaster at Mountcollyer and was one of the first to recognise the Galway talent.

"I used to play for his class before rushing out to do my paper round," recalls Sir James. "And I would go to the Power home to play, accompanied on the piano by George's late wife Peggy.

"My regret now is that my musical commitments will keep me from the funeral on Tuesday, but I have been in touch with the family."

Mr Power, who died in hospital, is survived by his only son Dr George Power Jr, a computer analyst. He will be buried in Lurgan Cemetery at 1pm after a service in All Saints Parish Church in Carrick at 10.30am.

"He had a deep love of music and used to play the accordion at dance evenings," says George Jr. "He recognised the brilliance of the young Galway at an early age and James was always a welcome visitor at our home."

Mr Power was described by his friend Martin Jackson as a quiet and dignified man who was deeply involved in Freemasonry, where he had acquired the top level of supreme grand council of the 33rd degree.

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