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Tributes after Newry silver band stalwart David Andrews dies at 67 after contracting Covid-19

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Family man: David Andrews

Family man: David Andrews

Family man: David Andrews

A former officer in the Royal Black Institution has been described as a "great family man" after passing away following a four-week battle with Covid-19.

Former Newry district master David Andrews (67) died on Thursday at Antrim Area Hospital. He is survived by his wife Heather, children Frances, Askey and David, and the wider family circle.

The Newry man previously worked as an electrician for NI Water and was a member of the Commons Silver Band for almost 60 years. He was also a former chairman of Newry Credit Union.

Commons Silver Band said Mr Andrews was "one of a kind" and would be sorely missed by his fellow band members.

"Our love and deepest condolences go out to Heather, Frances, Askey, David and their families during this difficult time," the band said.

"Davy, who was approaching 60 years in the band, was always a great steadfast member, someone who always showed encouragement, right up until recently with the purchase of our new uniforms.

"Davy, from your entire Commons family, we will miss you dearly and may you rest in peace."

Mr Andrews was an active member of Sandy's Street Presbyterian Church in the city and held the roles of caretaker and chairman of the church committee. He was also a member of the choir and played drums.

Ulster Unionist chairman and former Newry and Armagh MLA Danny Kennedy said his friend was a "great family man".

"I am deeply grieved at the passing of David Andrews, someone I've known and counted as a friend for over 40 years," he said.

"He was a very fine man. He was a man of many talents and interests, a man of music with a natural ability of rhythm, he was a brilliant side-drummer and could handle a drum kit with ease."

Mr Kennedy added that Mr Andrews had a great love of football after they both travelled to watch Northern Ireland play in the World Cup in Spain in 1982.

He continued: "He loved everything about the Commons Silver Band and the local community in that area.

"He loved and was active in the loyal orders of his city. He loved his church, Sandys Street, and its choir, and most importantly he was a man of faith and loved his Lord.

"This is a desperately sad time for Heather, Frances, Askey and David and the entire family circle.

"I pray God's presence and blessing and comfort on them in these sad and difficult days. May God bless you all."

Due to the current coronavirus regulations, Mr Andrews' funeral will be strictly private.

Belfast Telegraph