Obituary: Former Larne port manager Park Wilson

Park Wilson. INLT 10-102-CON
Park Wilson. INLT 10-102-CON

The death has taken place of well-known and highly respected Mr Park Wilson, a former port manager for P&O at Larne Harbour.

He passed away peacefully at his home in Millbrook on Thursday, February 27.

Mr Wilson had just turned 80 and had been suffering from respiratory failure over a period of months.

The third of eight children, he was born to John and Isabella Wilson at the family farm – Lealies, Kilwaughter – on February 4, 1934.

After starting his working life in the York Street Flax Company in Belfast, Mr Wilson joined the Atlantic Steam Navigation Company (Transport Ferry Service) in 1955 as a shipping clerk, and becoming assistant port manager for the company at Larne Harbour, under Ian Duffin.

He became port manager from 1977, when the company was taken over by Townsend Thoresen and then more recently by P&O European Ferries.

Mr Wilson had a lifelong interest in agricultural matters and farmed part-time at Newlands, Magheramorne, and latterly at Drumahoe, beside Lealies.

He also played an active part in a number of local organisations. For example, he was well-known in farming circles and was a past member of Mounthill Fair Society.

As a breeder and training of border collies, he was part of the sheepdog trials fraternity, being an enthusiastic and long-time secretary of Cairncastle Sheepdog Society.

He was also a past chairman of the Magheramorne branch of the Ulster Unionist Party and a past Worshipful Master of Kilwaughter LOL 520.

Mr Wilson was predeceased six months ago by Rosemary, his wife of 53 years. He is survived by his siblings Nancy, James, Tommy, Albert, Doreen and Jean. His brother Ernie died in 2007.

Mr Wilson is survived by four sons and a daughter: John, Kenneth, David, Andrew and Kathryn, and his 13 grandchildren.

The large number of people who attended a funeral service to celebrate Mr Wilson’s life was an indication of the high esteem in which he was held throughout the Larne district and further afield.

Conducted by Rev Neil Bingham, and his assistant Chris Barron, the funeral commenced at Mr Wilson’s boyhood home at Lealies, and proceeded to a church service at Magheramorne Presbyterian Church.

Rev Bingham’s eulogy contained several anecdotes reflecting Mr Wilson’s colourful life and personality.

After the service, Mr Wilson was laid to rest in Kilwaughter Cemetery.

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