Tributes to former Tullygarley chairman Rusty Johnston

Lynn Johnston (seated right) along with grandson, Cale presented a summer seat to Larne & Inver Primary School in memory of her late husband, Rusty who was the school patrol man for approximately seven years also pictured are school principal, Kirk Patterson, Lucinda McFaul and Andy Wilson. INLT 19-001-PSB
Lynn Johnston (seated right) along with grandson, Cale presented a summer seat to Larne & Inver Primary School in memory of her late husband, Rusty who was the school patrol man for approximately seven years also pictured are school principal, Kirk Patterson, Lucinda McFaul and Andy Wilson. INLT 19-001-PSB

Tributes have been paid to the former chairperson of Tullygarley Community Development Group who passed away recently.

Robert Johnston, also known as Rusty, died on March 29.

Robert (Rusty) Johnston.

Robert (Rusty) Johnston.

On Friday, a summer seat was presented in his memory to Larne and Inver Primary School where he had been a school crossing patrol man for seven years.

Rusty was an active resident of Tullygarley who worked tirelessly in the community and was instrumental in working in partnership with Mid and East Antrim Borough Council and other agencies to improve the facilities in Tullygarley, upgrading the play park and improving the appearance of the bonfire site by organising a new wall mural and beacon with other residents.

He also became involved in the historical local fountain project and his civic pride was also evident through litter picking to ensure the district was clean.

He was also a member of the management committee of Larne Community Development Project and will be missed by the staff and committee members.

Deborah Neill said: “I first met Rusty in my role as community development officer at Larne Community Development Project.

“Some of the residents were concerned about the state of the Tullygarley area and the lack of play facilities as the play park was very run down.

Rusty was elected the chairperson in 2005 and he was instrumental in working to obtain funding from Children in Need and Larne Borough Council.

“The area at the bonfire site, as it was known, was an eyesore for anyone coming into Larne, so the group worked with local residents and agencies to replace the rundown wall with a mural depicting the history of Tullygarley and instead of a bonfire every year, this was replaced by a beacon.

“Rusty remained chairperson until his illness stopped him from being so active in the community, and he will be missed by all those who worked with him.”