Mourners packed into Roselawn Crematorium non-denominational church on Thursday to say farewell to former Carrickfergus Council Arts, Events and Marketing manager Lynda Waring (nee Murphy).
Many more colleagues and friends gathered in the rain outside to hear how the small in stature Lynda played a big part in helping stage international events during a 12-year association with the local government authority.
Lynda, who died on October 31, after a short illness, was remembered as a loving mother to young son Milo, a cherished family member, a generous friend and a dedicated marketing professional.
The celebration of Lynda’s life, led by celebrant Julie Antonette, included poems by W H Auden and Wendell Berry, reflections by family members and a tribute by former Carrick councillor, David Hilditch MLA.
The latter drew laughter with his account of how Lynda, often seen on duty at events in her trademark trainers and high-visibility top, once stopped the giant figure of the late Dr Ian Paisley in his tracks at the head of the annual King William pageant because the ‘royal’ visitor wasn’t quite ready to land at the harbour.
Sadly missing from Thursday’s gathering was Lynda’s very distinct laugh, which, Mr Hilditch added, brightened up many meetings.
The former chair of Carrickfergus Council’s events committee also joked how early on in her career at Antrim Street, Lynda was persuaded by mischievous councillors to believe that his favourite date in the annual summer programme was the teddy bears picnic.
Mr Hilditch stressed the important role played by Lynda in staging events such as the Olympic torch run, Giro d’Italia cycle race, Armed Forces Day and the Christmas lights switching on ceremony.
The latter, he poignantly noted, will take place shortly but without the input of someone who had helped to make it a success, drawing thousands of people into the town. He assured those assembled that Lynda will be “looking down on them with a smile”.
Born on July 3, 1973 in Belfast, Lynda was educated at St Aloysius Primary School and Friends’ School, Lisburn.
After reading history at Queen’s University, Belfast, Lynda qualified professionally at (then) University of Ulster. She worked with Down Council before Carrickfergus Council, which is now part of Mid and East Antrim Council.
The church also heard how Lynda enjoyed her weekend role at the Ulster Museum, where a further celebration of her life took place after the Roselawn service.