Tributes have been paid to Joe Moore, a stalwart of the Larne community, who died recently, aged 89, after a lifetime of service to others.
Mr Moore’s funeral took place at First Larne Presbyterian Church.
He was a founder member of the Larne branch of the Royal Air Forces Association, a member of Larne Harbour LOL for 68 years and a founder member of Larne Harbour Accordion Band.
RAFA branch comrades formed a guard of honour at the church and at Larne Cemetery, with the Larne branch standard leading the hearse.
RAFA branch chairman John Kirkpatrick said Mr Moore had served as an engineering fitter as part of the RAF’s ground crew, including a posting to Sierra Leone.
He added that Mr Moore had served as secretary of the Larne RAFA branch for 30 years and held the post of vice-president at the time of his death.
Mr Kirkpatrick said: “Joe was very enthusiastic and very encouraging to all those involved with the Larne association. He worked tirelessly for the association’s welfare work. He was only too willing to help out with the Battle of Britain Wings Appeal and could be found in our shop in Murrayfield and was willing to travel to visit someone in hospital.”
Mr Moore was awarded RAFA’s National Presidential Certificate for “his spirit of the work of the association”. Mr Kirkpatrick said: “We will miss him in the association.”
Uel Parker, chaplain of Larne Harbour LOL, also paid tribute to Mr Moore, who had been lodge tyler for 30 years, He had attended Twelfth demonstrations and the Curran Road Arch Purple service until last year and lodge meetings until he took ill in the summer.
Rev Dr Colin McClure, minister of First Larne, told mourners: “Joe was what can be readily described as a people-person, so it is no surprise that he should value his associations in various fraternal organisations, such as the RAF Association, the Royal British Legion, the Orange and Black institutions, as well as his pivotal role in the Larne Harbour Band, of which he was a founder member.”
“Originally, from Portland Street, Joe was born on January 5, 1924. He attended Olderfleet Primary and Larne Technical College. He left school for an apprenticeship as a motor mechanic in Dan Campbell’s garage, Glenarm Road.
“Having been in the RAF Cadets, he moved into service in the Royal Air Force during the Second World War – which he joined in 1942. He commenced training in Blackpool and served in several stations in England before being posted to Sierra Leone – then a wartime staging post for forces heading to the Far East.
“On cessation of hostilities, Joe found himself stationed in Germany. In 1947, he returned to Larne as a civilian and trained as a draughtsman in the BTH factory.”
Rev McClure said: “That accounted for 25 years of his life’s journey. Joe will also be remembered by many as the affable messenger at the Northern Bank, a job which he undertook with a particular pride and relish.”
Joe met his wife-to-be, Renee, at The Plaza in 1948. They were engaged in 1950, emigrated to New Zealand the following year and married in 1952.”
The couple had four children – Shiryl, Wendy, Ivan and Joanne.