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Ex-council chair ‘made huge contribution to Banbridge community’


Archie McKelvey. Credit: LiamMcArdle.com

Archie McKelvey. Credit: LiamMcArdle.com


Archie McKelvey. Credit: LiamMcArdle.com

A former Ulster Unionist chairman of Banbridge District Council will be remembered fondly “by all sections of the community” following his passing.

Archie McKelvey (90), from Banbridge, passed away peacefully at Daisy Hill Hospital in Newry on Thursday.

He is survived by his loving wife Margaret, children David and Helen, his son and daughter-in-laws, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Mr McKelvey’s family said they were heartbroken following his death but were proud of the tireless contribution he made to local politics and education in Banbridge throughout his life.

He was a lifelong member of the Ulster Unionist Party, a former vice-principal and head of maths at Banbridge Technical College and a founding member of the Banbridge and District Horticultural Society.

Throughout his career and even into retirement, Mr McKelvey tutored young people in the local area in his own time to ensure they achieved their maths qualifications.

Mr McKelvey was a councillor on the old Banbridge District Council from 1985 to 1997, and was chairman in 1991/92.

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He was also a former chairman of the Southern Education and Library Board, and a member of the Orange Order, Royal Black Institution and Masonic Lodge Victoria Unity 296.

UUP chairman Danny Kennedy said he was deeply grieved to learn of Mr McKelvey’s passing and described him as a “distinguished public representative and also a lifelong stalwart member” of the party.

“Archie made a huge contribution to the well-being of Banbridge and the entire district,” he continued. “He was a thoughtful and sound man whose advice was highly regarded. He had a lifelong interest in politics and served with distinction in local government.

“Archie will be remembered very fondly by all sections of the community to whom he served with diligence and genuine commitment.

“I extend my personal sorrow and that of the entire Ulster Unionist Party to his wife Margaret, and the entire family circle at this sad and difficult time.”

UUP leader Doug Beattie added that many people will be mourning the loss of a valued friend and dear colleague, while Banbridge councillor Ian Burns said it was a “privilege” to serve with him in local council.

Education Authority chairman Barry Mulholland said Mr McKelvey made a “valuable contribution to the education sector”.

“He enriched the lives of many children and young people across Northern Ireland over the years,” added Mr Mulholland. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his entire family at this sad time.”

Mr McKelvey’s funeral will take place at Banbridge Methodist Church at 2pm on Monday, followed by committal at Banbridge New Cemetery.

Donations in lieu of flowers, if desired, can be made to Banbridge Methodist Church and sent to Milne Funeral Services, Newry Road, Banbridge.

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