Tributes paid to ‘man of courage and integrity’

Quentin Boyce. Pic by Edward Byrne Photography
Quentin Boyce. Pic by Edward Byrne Photography

Tributes have been paid to popular Banbridge businessman Quentin Boyce, who died last week after a battle with cancer.

Mr Boyce passed away peacefully at Craigavon Area Hospital on Thursday, March 23.

Hundreds of mourners gathered at Bannside Presbyterian Church on Sunday afternoon to say farewell to the 63-year-old, who was a popular figure in local business and sporting circles.

The funeral service was led by Rev Dr Mark Gray, who described Mr Boyce as a man who was “very highly respected” in the local community.

The church was filled to capacity, with many more mourners having to listen to the service in the church hall.

The congregation heard how the young Quentin Boyce was a boarder at Friends’ School where he excelled at sport, representing the school at both hockey and swimming.

He went on to study at the College of Estate Management at the University of Reading, where he captained the university hockey team.

Following the death of his father in 1976, Quentin returned home to Banbridge to take over the family property business.

Outside of work he played for Banbridge Hockey Club for many years, making many life-long friends, and later took up golf and snooker.

Mourners heard how Mr Boyce expanded the family business, setting up Shooter Property Services offices in Lisburn and Newry. And Rev Gray spoke of how his dedication shone through during the crisis of 2008 when he made sure that the resources of the company went into keeping everyone in a job.

“Quentin was a person of courage, integrity, immense human decency. He was thoughtful and he was thankful. He lived life to the full to the very end,” Rev Gray said.

The minister said that Mr Boyce had lived “an active and deeply fulfilling life” and that at the centre of it was his family - his loving wife Jane and sons Christopher and Shane.

He also spoke of Mr Boyce’s love of music, particularly artists such as Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen, and told how he supported charities and helped the church.

During the service of thanksgiving, which was followed by a private committal, a tribute to Mr Boyce was given by Dennis Livingstone and the poem ‘What is dying?’ was read by Sarah Magennis.

Speaking after the service, a spokesperson for Banbridge Hockey Club paid tribute to their “life-long member and friend” and expressed their deepest sympathies to the Boyce family circle.

“Quentin was part of the highly successful team of the 1980s, a past president and long-serving committee member. Quentin was an integral part of the club when based on Castlewellan Road as well as the transition to Havelock Park. There will be an empty seat on match days at Havelock with his passing and he will be sorely missed by everyone at the club,” the spokesperson said.