Book of condolence in Carrick Civic Centre

Members of the public have been leaving their messages of tribute to the first citizen. INCT 09-709-CON
Members of the public have been leaving their messages of tribute to the first citizen. INCT 09-709-CON

A book of condolence has been opened in Carrickfergus Civic Centre following the death of the borough’s first citizen, Alderman Charles Johnston.

It is available to sign in the lobby of the Antrim Street building, headquarters of the local government authority on which Mr Johnston served for over three decades..

Town Clerk Sheila McClelland said: “On behalf of all the elected members and staff of Carrickfergus Borough Council, it is with the deepest of regrets that I am extending our sincerest condolences to the Mayoress, Mrs Patricia Johnston, and the wider family circle, after the tragic passing of the Mayor of Carrickfergus Borough, Alderman Charles Johnston, following a long and arduous battle with cancer.

“As one of the longest serving members of Carrickfergus Borough Council, Alderman Johnston was revered by many. He was a dedicated and committed exponent for local democracy and wholly representative of the community he served.

“As a passionate ambassador and champion for the borough, he conducted himself with the utmost professionalism which was beyond reproach.”

The former independent councillor served four terms as mayor and chaired numerous committees. This experience, according to the Town Clerk, was reflected in informed and level-headed decision making and was often critical in ensuring the success of many initiatives that continue to bear influence on the local population.

“Alderman Johnston possessed such a strength and tenacity of character which continued to be evident through his protracted illness. He was a bastion of Carrickfergus Borough Council and a very experienced and astute politician. He will be deeply missed and our collective prayers and thoughts are with him,” she added.

“It is with particular poignancy that Alderman Johnston was first elected to serve as a political representative on Carrickfergus Borough Council in its inaugural year in 1973, culminating in his sad passing only a matter of weeks prior to the expiration of Carrickfergus Borough Council under the Local Government Reform process.”