HE DID IT HIS WAY

COUNCILLOR Robert Lindsay Mason, who died on Friday, aged 64, will be buried today (Thursday) in a family plot at Clandeboye Cemetery, in Bangor.

He will be laid to rest alongside his father, Robert, and his mother, Daisy, following a short service at his home, in Tower Road, Larne, at 12.00 Noon.

Born on April 1942 at Bay Road nursing home, Lindsay was a boarder at Royal School, Dungannon, and at Vernon College, Dunmurray.

After establishing himself in the antiques business, he entered politics in the early Seventies, representing the predominantly Catholic Lower Falls ward on Belfast City Council.

Following the death of his father, a former paper mill manager, Lindsay and his mother moved to Penarth, in Wales, where his shop, 'Beautiful Things', was a successful business.

They were persuaded by family to return to Northern Ireland in the mid-80s and it was while driving to Stranraer that Lindsay suffered a severe heart attack. The medical team who attended to him revealed later that their patient's heart had stopped 13 times before he recovered.

Upon his return to Larne, Lindsay opened an antiques shop at Dunluce Street. He was conspicuous to say the least, with his flamboyant dress sense and his open-top Chevrolet El Dorado car.

Angina, arthritis and asthma forced Lindsay to close the business and he devoted his energies instead to local government, winning a seat on Larne Borough Council as an independent, on an' anti-corruption' ticket, in 1993.

Robert Lindsay Mason once conceded he didn't believe he was a great councillor. "I don't have the strength or the energy, or, for that matter, the finance. I am elected by default. The other candidates are worse and in effect, they elect me", he told the Larne Times.

FAMILY

The lifelong bachelor was devoted to his beloved collie dog, Honey, and was devastated when she died in the past year.

Lindsay was close his younger brother, Chris, his niece, Kara, nephew Mark and their children.

Chris Mason described his older brother as an avid reader of everything from fiction to highbrow academic publications. "He managed to get through, on one occasion, to the 'Who Wants To Be a Millionaire' programme and was asked on the phone to estimate the total distance of the Mexican coastline.

"Thirty seconds later he was on the phone with me, saying he thought he'd blown it, because he'd forgotten about the Yucatan peninsula and was 300 miles out".

RLM's answer was close enough that he was invited to travel as a reserve. Chris stayed at home: "Lindsay said he'd need me as a 'phone a friend' in case he was asked about sport".

MUSIC

Robert Lindsay Mason loved all kinds of music, from opera to rave, and was a regular attender at dance venues across the province.

"He wore brightly coloured cravats and the girls loved him", recalled Kara, who also remembered as a child, she and her brother Mark being driven by their uncle under the Black Arch in the big American Cadillac.

In his youth, Robert Lindsay Mason was an enthusiastic cyclist, travelling extensively in Europe, from the northern-most tip of the former Soviet Union to Scandinavia, France and Spain.

The Mason family remember Lindsay with fondness and pride. "He was a damned good councillor", said Chris. "He fought against corruption and nobody was ever straighter in his dealings with people".

Kara added, "He told the truth and it didn't always go down well, but he fought on. He wouldn't allow them to sweep anything under the carpet".

"He was a good brother", said Chris, who added, "I think he was a genuinely good person. He was colourful, certainly, and he did it his way".