Former events officer Lynda Waring’s favourite colour was evoked as a tree was planted in her memory in Carrickfergus.
During a short remembrance ceremony for the valued employee of the legacy Carrickfergus Borough Council and Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, who passed away in October after a short illness at the age of 42, a laburnum tree was planted at the Town Hall.
Lynda’s son Milo helped David Hilditch MLA unveil a bench during the tribute too. The dedication was accompanied by a lone piper, council colleague, Peter Browne, playing a lament.
MEA Mayor, Councillor Billy Ashe said: “We were all deeply affected by Lynda’s sudden passing and so this short memorial service in Carrickfergus was a fitting tribute.
“We purchased a beautiful laburnum tree which was dedicated in Lynda’s memory, representing her favourite colour yellow, as well as memorial bench which has been placed in the courtyard between Carrickfergus Civic Centre and the Town Hall for her colleagues to enjoy and at the same time recall her immense contribution to the council and that of the former legacy Carrickfergus Borough Council over many years.
“I was very pleased to have been joined in giving thanks for the life of Lynda and remembering her as our most esteemed and cherished colleague by not only members of her family, but also by the council chief executive, Anne Donaghy and senior management.”
‘Wee Lynda’ as she was affectionately known by colleagues and the many groups she came in contact with helped organise some of the biggest events to be staged in Carrickfergus in recent years such as the BBC Proms, the visit of the Olympic torch, Armed Forces Day and the Giro d’Italia.
Mr Hilditch referred to this during his address at the service. He said: “I am of course delighted that we are joined by members of Lynda’s family with a very special welcome to Milo who we got to hear a lot about and most of us met on his visits down to Carrick.
“It is almost four months since that fateful weekend when news came through that Lynda had fallen ill. Many of you present here today immediately made your way to the Royal Victoria Hospital, basically on impulse to join Lynda’s family to offer support in the hope that it wouldn’t be long until she would be racing through the Civic Centre and Town Hall again, usually on her way to a meeting.
“It wasn’t to be and we were all stunned in the ensuing days trying to come to terms that we wouldn’t have her back, that such a small person would leave such a big void.
“As colleagues and friends can I also assure you that Lynda is still very much in the thoughts of the local community here in Carrickfergus. Even in recent days her name was mentioned at a number of meetings where community groups, associations and clubs are currently putting their programmes in place for the year ahead.
“Sometimes they can’t remember her name and would say: ‘Ach you know the wee girl who did the events’ or ‘Wee Lynda from the Council’ would be another reference as they fondly remember her. They remember how she helped them, enriched their lives and made an impact on the wellbeing of the Carrickfergus Community.”
Before the unveiling a moment’s reflection and silence was observed. There was added poignancy when Lynda’s MEA colleague Scott McClenaghan recited ‘Death Is Nothing At All’ by Henry Scott Holland.
In her role as marketing and events manager, Lynda had wide and deep connections to the local community. Her warm personality, enthusiasm, and dedication made her a popular and well-loved figure. This was reflected in the attendance at the event with the Lord Lieutenant of County Antrim Joan Christie OBE, colleagues, politicians, council suppliers and partners, and members of the general public in the crowd of over 100 people.