Tributes to Ian Wilson, prime mover in transformation of 'forgotten' village Broughshane
Tributes have been paid to Ballymena businessman Ian Wilson MBE, who has died aged 61.
Mr Wilson, along with his twin brother Sandy and colleagues, was one of the prime movers in the transformation of Broughshane village over the past two decades.
Lexi Scott, chairperson of Broughshane Community Association, told the Belfast Telegraph: "Ian Wilson was one of the stalwarts of the Broughshane Community Association since its early years, helping with the transformation of the old disused factory which the community made into the village's community centre.
"Ian and his twin brother Sandy were heavily involved in the community's development from then on. Ian was the sort of bloke who could have got 20 people onto the street working at the drop of a hat," Mr Scott said.
"We are all missing him, none more so than his family circle."
Mr Scott said that without exception the people he had spoken to had paid glowing tributes to Ian's work and his contribution to his community.
Mr Wilson had been suffering from cancer," he added.
"He had been very ill this last week to 10 days. It was a recurrence of cancer he'd first battled three or four years ago," he said.
Braid councillors Beth Adger and Beth Clyde said Mr Wilson would be sorely missed by the local community.
"Ian did great work in Broughshane, him and his brother Sandy," Councillor Adger said.
"They really brought Broughshane into the limelight. He was a great fellow and it's very sad news that he's gone.
"Along with his brother Sandy, Ian was one of the people who started up the improvement and the flowering of Broughshane.
"Broughshane was like a wee forgotten village and just look at it now.
"People come from miles around to see it - it's been transformed."
Councillor Clyde added: "Ian was very well thought of. My sympathies are very much with his partner Cathy and his two daughters, Laura and Victoria, and the whole family circle."
Mr Wilson's daughters said that they were "devastated" by their father's death.
Posting on Facebook, they wrote: "We are devastated by the loss but also incredibly grateful for all the kind wishes and support we have received so far from the very many people who came to know daddy over the years and considered him a friend."
Mr Wilson's funeral takes place today, leaving Broughshane Community Centre at 11.30am for a service of thanksgiving in St Patrick's Parish Church, Broughshane at midday, followed by burial in the adjoining cemetary.