Well-known and popular family man Jim loved his rugby and bowls

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Tributes have been paid to popular and well-known Banbridge man James Francis (Jim) Campbell.

Speaking at his funeral Rev. Colin Harris spoke of Jim’s many interests and achievements.

He stated: “James Francis (Jim) Campbell was born on 19th January 1930 in Tullylish, the youngest son of Samuel and Mary Campbell and brother to Rae and Dick.

“He grew up in Lenaderg where he went to school until the age of 14 when he started work as a shop boy for Coburn Seed Merchants. He was hard working and soon was given the position of General Manager.

“He married Mavis Craig in Scarva Street Presbyterian Church on 1st July 1955 and they were blessed with 4 children, Audrey, Mervyn, Fiona and Allister.

“As technology advanced, Jim didn’t relish the prospect of computers and decided to visit New Zealand, with a view to emigrating but this wasn’t to be. A family man, missing Mavis and the children, he came home and Banbridge was to be where they would stay.

“On coming home, Jim found employment in Moy Park and after a time, worked with his son, Mervyn in Ballydown Filling Station, where he worked on, through several ‘retirements’, until the age of 80.

“Jim loved his caravan, the early starts each morning, getting up to make breakfast for six in a 12 foot caravan, down to Newcastle Presbyterian each Sunday where the League of Church Loyalty Cards needed to be stamped.

“He had a great interest in sport, playing football from his early teens, but, ultimately, the oval ball would become the ball for him.

“After he finished his playing career, he served the Banbridge Rugby Club as Secretary and then as President in 1968.

“Being a club selector, Jim travelled to many clubs, which broadened out to the length and breadth of Ireland with the advent of the All Ireland League.

“He also enjoyed bowls, being a Past Captain of Scarva Street Indoor Bowling Club, but his proudest moment was when Mavis was selected to play for Ireland at Outdoor Bowling.

“Jim was very much a family man. He was devoted to his wife Mavis, and on her passing, found that time particularly trying. He loved his children and always tried to treat them equally.

“He rejoiced in Marcus, Ian and Avril too. He was proud of his family and delighted in his nine grandchildren: Jeffrey, Stephen, Matthew, Jessica, Gareth, Hannah, Craig, Charlotte and Ewan.

“He enjoyed their company, hearing of their exploits, their jobs and their hobbies, and he always encouraged them to work hard.

“He had many great friends, too many to mention, but there is a special mention for Albert and Joe who visited him faithfully every week, Sam, who dropped in on his way to golf and Nora, who made Sunday Lunch.

“Scarva Street became Jim’s spiritual home on his marriage to Mavis. They sat upstairs and one by one their children were added to the pew. When health would no longer permit, Jim sat downstairs until he was no longer able to attend, less than two years ago.

“The family want me to thank all the staff in Iveagh House for their love and constant care over the past year. Jim is greatly missed by his friends, his Scarva Street Church family, and most of all, by his own close knit family.”

Jim’s funeral took place privately from his home on Friday 9th December for a service in Scarva Street Presbyterian Church at which the hymns ‘The Lord’s My Shepherd’ and ‘Safe in the Arms of Jesus’ were sung. Mr Alastair Mitchell presided at the organ.

Members and friends of Banbridge Rugby Club were among the large congregation came to pay their last respects.

The committal took place afterwards in the New Cemetery.

Family flowers were placed on the grave and donations in lieu of flowers are being sent to William Bell and Co. Funeral Directors, 23 Kenlis Street, Banbridge, BT32 3LR for Scarva Street Presbyterian Church and Iveagh House Nursing Home (Cheques made payable to William Bell and Co.)

William Bell and Co. had charge of the funeral arrangements.