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100 year old tennis player honoured

Arthur Norris, seated, second from left, celebrated his 100th birthday with a visit to Lisburn Civic Centre. Mr Norris, a former principal at Fort Hill school (from 1996-79), is pictured with, seated, from left, Bert Gibson, Fort Hill principal from 1979-1993, Mayor Andrew Ewing and Clive Anderson, current principal at Fort Hill from 2011-present, along with friends, family and councillors.  US1428-553cd  Picture: Cliff Donaldson

Arthur Norris, seated, second from left, celebrated his 100th birthday with a visit to Lisburn Civic Centre. Mr Norris, a former principal at Fort Hill school (from 1996-79), is pictured with, seated, from left, Bert Gibson, Fort Hill principal from 1979-1993, Mayor Andrew Ewing and Clive Anderson, current principal at Fort Hill from 2011-present, along with friends, family and councillors. US1428-553cd Picture: Cliff Donaldson

A Dunmurry man thought to be Ireland’s oldest tennis player has been honoured at a special ceremony by Lisburn City Council.

The Mayor of Lisburn, Councillor Andrew Ewing was delighted to welcome Mr Arthur Norris to the Mayor’s Parlour on the auspicious occasion of reaching the grand age of 100 this week.

A former principal at Fort Hill Primary School, around 30 guests on Tuesday, including ex-pupils, family, friends and fellow Windsor Lawn Tennis Club members joined Arthur at a function in his honour.

Born on July 10, 1914 Arthur joined Windsor Lawn Tennis Club in Belfast in 1946 and he served as club secretary for more than 60 years.

Two years ago Arthur received a lifetime achievement award from Windsor and he still attends the club every Saturday. However he now been reluctantly forced to hang up his racquet following a mini stroke two years ago.

He said: “So I haven’t been as active as I would have liked since then, although I did try to play tennis again earlier this year.

“Unfortunately, I had a fall while on the court and it altered my face a bit so I suppose that’s the end of a not so illustrious career.”

When in the Royal Air Force Arthur served in Bombay, New Delhi and the Kashmir. During his time in Lisburn Arthur taught at William Foote Memorial Primary School in Lisburn and met Bill Gardiner-Watson, who was a councillor in this council for many years.

He married Rosemary, his late wife, and held the position of principal of Fort Hill Primary School until retirement.

Lisburn Mayor Mr Ewing paid tribute to Arthur.

“Throughout his life he has worked for the betterment of others during his time spent in the armed forces and within education,” he said.

“I wish Arthur many happy years to come and I am delighted to host a reception for him, his family and friends.”

Arthur commented: “I am honoured to be here in the mayor’s Parlour today and I want to say thank you to everyone who has been so kind to me – there are a lot of Good Samaritans in this little province.”

 

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