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Obituary: Golfer and dedicated member of Scouts dies

By Eddie McIlwaine

Robert James Clifford Boyd who has died at 92 was a dedicated member of the Scout movement.

He travelled to international camps around the world and served a term as Northern Ireland's Chief Commissioner. Clifford's services to Scouting earned him the British Empire Medal and in the 1960s and 70s he performed in the celebrated Ralph Reader Gang Shows at the Opera House in Belfast.

Clifford, a partner in the manufacturing agents firm of AH Ward & Boyd of Lisburn, was a founding elder of Harmony Hill Presbyterian Church. There he served as clerk of session and treasurer and founded a drama group to perform pantomimes and plays, including JB Priestley's When We Are Married.

He was also a member of Malone Golf Club where his daughter Barbara married Tom Carson under an oak tree in 2005. He saw service too as Worshipful Master of Groomsport Masonic Lodge.

Clifford left Fane Street Elementary School at 15 and started work at a linen mill in the city.

He was just 16 when World War Two was declared and his dream of joining the RAF was thwarted as his job in the mill involved the manufacture of parachute cord and was essential to the war effort.

He had to console himself to being a machine-gun instructor in the Home Guard.

Clifford is survived by his wife of 68 years, Eve, his sons Alan, Colin and David, daughter Barbara and seven grandchildren.

His funeral service was conducted in Groomsport Presbyterian Church by the Rev Roger Purce. Mourners sang his favourite hymn Will Your Anchor Hold.

Afterwards the remains were cremated at Roselawn and the ashes will be scattered at Malone Golf Club.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph