We are all the poorer for John Hanna's passing
The John Hanna I knew was, first and foremost, a friend, a loyal Ulster Unionist and a dedicated, hard-working councillor. We are all the poorer for his loss.
There were no back doors in John and, wherever he found rules and regulations, he always defied them. Even if we were in a room full of senior officials and John had something to say, it came straight and everyone heard it.
I will always remember John saying, "Jo-Anne, I want to tell you a wee thing" and the wee thing lasted for an hour or so, but it was always to my benefit to listen well.
Even though he retired as a Banbridge councillor in March, John's service to the community continued. He was by my side recently at Stormont as I hosted representatives from Banbridge's twin town, Ruelle-sur-Touvre in France.
John was also "Mr Scarva" - I spent last Thursday evening in his company in Scarva. He knew the community and they respected him. He took time to visit and listen to people. Nothing was too much trouble for John.
John talked proudly about his recent visit to Buckingham Palace with his wife Joan as she collected her OBE. He was so proud of her achievements and I know just how much it meant to him for her to receive this great honour.
I have so many fond memories of John as a friend, a mentor and a colleague and will miss him dearly.
Jo-Anne Dobson is the Ulster Unionist MLA for Upper Bann