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Veteran Orangeman with passion for old motorbikes


By Angela Rainey

Tributes have been paid to an 83-year-old stalwart of the Orange Order who died peacefully on Thursday.

Adolphus Liggett, known as Dolphus, died at his home at Edenderry Park in Banbridge.

A devoted father-of-four, his son Maurice died six years ago from a brain tumour; he also lost his wife Mary Wilhelmina in 1995. The pair met when Mr Liggett was driving his van on a roade that Mary had been walking along, and he stopped to talk to her. They married on April 4, 1961.

Mr Liggett is survived by daughters Sandra and Sally, son Derek, 10 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Originally from Loughbrickland, he left school at 14 to work in Home and Colonials food store. He also delivered bread for many years before becoming a factory worker.

A keen drummer, he won many competitions in his youth and played in the Geoghegan Memorial Pipe Band and Banbridge Pipe Band as an adult.

A devout Christian, he was a regular attender at Donacloney Presbyterian in Craigavon, where his funeral service will be held.

Mr Liggett was a life-long member of the Orange Lodge, Royal Arch Purple Chapter and past district master and district lecturer of Banbridge District No7. His other passion was for refurbishing and riding vintage motorcycles.

Derek said his father was a real character: "He definitely loved the Twelfth, he wouldn't miss it. Dad loved the parades and would walk with a band, but in the last five years he would be taken in a car.

"He also loved vintage motorbikes, he would buy them in some state, then do them up. He was a very hands-on person, a great mechanic, he loved engines and understood everything about them. He could turn his hand to anything. Dad particularly loved Francis-Barnett motorbikes and still has two motorbikes and two autocycles. He was riding on his bike right up until June."

Mr Liggett also took classes in computers and lessons from his grandson to understand social media.

"He had his own laptop and he would have been on eBay and different sites looking for things," added Derek. "He was a real character.

"He bought a motorcycle from England through the web and had it delivered to his house. Once he got a notion there was no stopping him.

"He was very independent and active after mum died. Dad was always ticking along and he was always going out somewhere to a meeting or a pensioners' club or dinner.

"He had a fantastic head for information, facts and figures, for dates and places. It was quite funny and became a family joke but his memory was also unbelievable. If you told him of the remotest place, you could guarantee he had been there because he rode the bread van all over and went to band competitions."

His funeral will be held at 1pm today followed by interment in the adjoining churchyard.

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