Ulster Unionist Councillor Andy Wilson has paid tribute to former district councillor and secretary of Kilwaughter Village Hall Committee, Robert James (Jay) Semple MBE who has died after a lengthy illness.
In a statement, Cllr Wilson said:“I am very sorry to hear of the passing of Jay Semple MBE, just three months after his beloved wife Valerie.
“I was honoured that he signed my nomination papers when I first stood for Larne Borough Council in the area where he had served between 1973 and 1977, and he was an active member of the East Antrim Ulster Unionist Association when I first became involved in local politics.
“He was a stalwart member of the Kilwaughter Village Hall committee and, until he stood down in 2009, was our longtime honorary secretary - taking bookings, keeping minutes and generally ensuring the smooth running of this very well used rural hall.
“Jay Semple was a countryman of the old school- honest, upright and dependable. He was very well-regarded especially in farming circles and was active in his local community, through many groups such as the Ulster Farmers’ Union, the loyal orders and the bowling fraternity. His work was recognised by his well-deserved award of an MBE.
“Sincere condolences to Jay and Valerie’s sons Raymond and Alan and the Semple family circle.”