Belfast Telegraph

Mourners attend funeral of historian Samuel Blair

By Staff Reporter

The funeral took place yesterday of a well-known Co Antrim historian.

Mourners gathered at Kilraughts Presbyterian Church near Ballymoney to pay their final respects to Samuel Alexander (Alex) Blair.

Mr Blair passed away suddenly on Saturday at his home at Lisboy Road, Kilraughts.

North Antrim MLA Mervyn Storey was among those at yesterday's service.

Mr Blair was deeply involved with his community in various roles, including as a writer and lecturer, public speaker and storyteller.

He was heavily involved with Ballymoney Drama Festival, Ballymoney Probus Club and the Ballymoney Agricultural Show.

A former pupil of Dalriada, Mr Blair returned there as a staff member in 1965. In 1978, the prolific writer produced 'The School called Dalriada' play to mark centenary celebrations.

He produced The Dalriada school magazine for more than a decade and under his guidance the Historical Records Society hosted exhibitions which often became the centre of focus of the school's speech day events.

Mr Blair was also at the heart of the school's sporting life.

According to friends, he was a meticulous organiser in his role as a public relations officer.

UUP leader Robin Swann, an MLA for North Antrim, was among those who paid tribute to Mr Blair, saying: "We have lost a real legend."

A death notice said he would be "sadly missed by the entire family circle".

Belfast Telegraph

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