Iza Campbell’s passing marks end of an era for Ballycarry

Iza Campbell.  INLT 04-655-CON
Iza Campbell. INLT 04-655-CON

Warm tributes have been paid to a Ballycarry-born centenarian who passed away recently.

Born in the village in March 1913, the death of Belfast resident Iza Campbell has closed a chapter on the history of her generation.

Mrs Campbell was the last surviving daughter of farmer and folk poet William James Hume of Monterloney Farm in Aldfreck townland, author of the well-known local folksong The Muttonburn Stream.

When Mrs Campbell was just 13 her mother, Agnes Craig, died in childbirth with a baby boy, leaving a family of six surviving children and her husband.

At the funeral service of Mrs Campbell from Cregagh Presbyterian Church, her son Rev Jim Campbell, recalled how his mother had gone at the age of just 14 to be a maidservant in the home of Major Turner, the Lord Mayor of Belfast.

All the money she earned was sent back to help the family survive, and at weekends she walked the 20 miles from Belfast home to Ballycarry, he said.

The congregation was told that despite this terrible family tragedy, a deep personal faith was always with the local woman throughout her life.

She met and married Omagh man Willie Campbell, a gardener at the Turner estate, and the couple settled down on Belfast’s Cregagh Road, where they had two children, Jim and Isobel.

Originally a member of Ballycarry Presbyterian Church, Mrs Campbell was a member of Cregagh Presbyterian in East Belfast for over 75 years and there was a large attendance at the funeral service there last weekend.

Mrs Campbell is survived by her son, daughter, grandchildren and great grandchildren in Belfast and County Antrim.

Family members from Larne, Ballycarry and Ballynure were among those who attended the service of thanksgiving.