Warm tributes have been paid to local woman Elma McCalmont, who passed away suddenly at her home in Larne on Sunday.
A well-known community volunteer in the Larne area for many years, Elma was a leading member of Millbrook Community Association and was instrumental in securing a new, modern facility to replace the old rundown community centre; helping to raise £12,500 for the project in just 12 months.
Elma, who lived at Upper Waterloo Road, retired last year from her post as secretary of the community association after more than 30 years’ of commitment.
In recognition of her contribution, a room at Millbrook Community Centre was named in her honour.
The replacement building at Millbrook is just one project which Elma worked tirelessly to achieve.
In 2012, she was recognised for her outstanding contribution at a glittering ceremony to mark the re-opening of Larne Town Hall, where she received an award and was invited to unveil a plaque to mark the occasion.
Andy Wilson, a Larne councillor on Mid and East Antrim Council, expressed his sorrow at Elma’s sudden death.
“It is a terrible shock to learn of Elma’s sudden passing,” Mr Wilson said.
“She was so involved in helping the local community through her many voluntary activities; through the Millbrook Community Association, Millbrook Women’s Institute, Larne Elim Church, the Simon Community and many other groups.
“Elma’s sudden passing is a huge loss for the community, but more importantly an irreplaceable loss for her family. My sympathy goes out to the McCalmont and Burke families. To me she was the Mayoress of Millbrook.”
Millbrook resident Councillor Gregg McKeen said Elma’s death had come as a “major shock” to everyone the local community.
He added: “I want to express my sympathy to Elma’s family; her husband Norman, her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
“She was a truly remarkable lady who dedicated her life to her family and the community as a whole. “
Through her work with Millbrook Community Association and several other local groups – including Brookies Korner and Silver Circle – Elma offered help and support to many different people.
“Even after her retirement, she was always on hand to offer a helping hand to anyone who needed it,” Cllr McKeen added.
“Elma was heavily involved in making Millbrook Community Centre what it is today. Her death is a real loss to the community and she will be sadly missed.”
The funeral took place at Larne Elim Church, Victoria Road before moving on to Kilwaughter Cemetery.