Tributes have been paid to the former Deputy Mayor of Larne Sandy Hunter, who has passed away.
Mr Hunter, who was in his nineties, was the Honorary President of the Ulster Unionist Party’s Larne branch and had previously served on Larne Borough Council between 1973 and 1981, and again between 1993 and 1997.
He was also a Presbyterian elder and a farmer by profession, farming on the Ballygallagh Road near Raloo.
News of Mr Hunter’s death was announced on the UUP’s Larne branch Facebook page.
It stated: “It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing yesterday of our long-standing member and Honorary President Mr Sandy Hunter.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this time.
“The Lord IS my shepherd.”
UUP Councillor Andy Wilson wrote: “Another great character has passed away.
“Sandy Hunter, of Ballyvallagh: former deputy Mayor of Larne, Ulster Unionist Councillor, farmer, Presbyterian elder.
“Everyone knew Sandy in the country areas around Larne, and no-one had a bad word to say about him.
“It was a privilege to benefit from his quiet wisdom.
“He told me ‘Well… you hae the field well ploughed for the next time’, when I failed miserably to get elected to Council in 2001.
“Sandy will be much missed by his large family circle.”
TUV Councillor Ruth Wilson added: “Very sorry to hear about Sandy, thoughts and prayers with his sorrowing family at this sad time of loss.”
May Steele MBE of the Larne branch of the UUP said: “The officers and members of the East Antrim Ulster Unionist Association are deeply saddened at the passing of our esteemed longer serving member, former Councillor and Deputy Mayor of Larne, Sandy Hunter.
“Sandy was a stalwart of the Ulster Unionist Party, always supporting social events and never missing a meeting, an AGM or a Conference. We both joined the Unionist Party at about the same time in the 1950s, and he was a loyal member and steadfast member, quiet but firm in his opinions.
“I always remember that Sandy along with my late husband Sam and the late Laurence Niblock went to Roy Beggs in 1983 and persuaded him to give up his Vice Principal’s position at Larne High school to run successfully for the Ulster Unionist Party at the Westminster General election.
“He was very well known and well thought of in his local community, as testified by his election to Larne Borough Council on three occasions over a very long period of time.
“Sandy’s elevation to Deputy Mayor was just reward to a lifetime of hard work and public service. His party colleagues send their heartfelt condolences to the Hunter family circle,” she concluded.