LODGE RAISES £1,000-PLUS IN HONOUR OF LISTULLYCURRAN NATIVE JOSIE

LISTULLYCURRAN Orange Lodge has raised more than £1,000 in aid of the homegrown charity founded in the early 1970s by Listullycurran native, the late Josephine 'Josie' Kerr MBE and her husband Walter.

The sizeable sum was lifted at a single event, a recent coffee morning in aid of the Northern Ireland Kidney Research Grand Master's Appeal and Mr. Kerr himself was among those on hand for the event.

It was he and and his wife who founded the Northern Ireland Kidney Research Fund after Josie suffered acute kidney failure following the loss during childbirth of a longed-for baby.

Critically ill, she spent weeks dependent on artificial kidney treatment at Belfast City Hospital. That was in 1970.

A year later, after battling back to full health, and having, with the support of family, friends and fellow kidney patients, set up a steering group, Josie hit the headlines as the Waringstown woman behind the newly emerging Northern Ireland Kidney Research Fund.

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But Josie had been born Josephine Walker at Listullycurran, where hers was one of the oldest families in the area.

It is there that her nephew still lives today and there that Listullycurran LOL 616 meets in the local Orange Hall.

It was with the late Mrs. Kerr's local roots and fundraising achievements in mind that LOL 616 chose to raise money for the charity that meant so much to her.

None other than the Orange Order's Grand Master, Worshipful Brother Robert Saulters, welcomed everyone attending the recent charity fundraiser.

Mr. Saulters thanked members of the Listullycurran Lodge for their initiative and introduced Northern Ireland Kidney Research Fund representatives Mr. and Mrs. Billy Thompson and Mrs. Nelly Mehaffey.

Also in attendance was Mr. Kerr himself, who, for years, along with his wife, was the public face of the charity they founded and today holds the position of life-President.

Dr. Emma Borthwick of Belfast City Hospital's Renal Department addressed the audience and County Down Grand Master, Worshipful Brother Victor Harrison, also spoke in support of the charity, which today still exists to support research into, and treatment of, kidney disease in Northern Ireland.