William Wynne Dawson, who at the age of 74 became the oldest man in the United Kingdon to be elected as a fellow of the Chartered Insurance Institute, has passed away.
William (or Billy) died peacefully on September 10 in his 95th year at his home Colleen Brookmount, in Magheragall.
He was from a farming background and for generations his family farmed in the area but it was an insurance profession that he followed.
Husband of the late Mabel Peel Blair he alsohad two children Joan and Brian.
William was educated at the old Ballycarrickmaddy Primary School, Brookhill which ironically was built on his grandfather’s land.
When he attended Wallace High School he won the Sir Milne Barbour Cup for being the most progressive student of his year.
It was on April 1, 1938, that William entered into the insurance profession and quickly rose to prominence.
Alongside William’s professional career he followed his entrepreneurial background of the Wynne Linen family of Keady.
He was the first person in Northern Ireland not only to start car auctions, but grow mushrooms and exported them to Convent Gardens, London and buy the first new car in Belfast after the War.
In 1959, along with his professional friend the late Sinclair Whyte he started Dawson and Whyte Incorporated Insurance Brokers, a business that continued to prosper and diversify.
In 1980, William was elected underwriting member of Lloyds of London.
Always open to challenges at the age of 74, William still holds the record as the oldest person in the UK to be elected as a fellow of the Chartered Insurance Institute.
William always acted as a mentor and an inspiration to others.
Queen’s University awards the Perpetual Dawson trophy, which is offered to the best insurance student that encapsulates William’s professional values.
Three generations later the firm of Dawson Whyte and Co is now a cornerstone for the largest insurance brokerage in Europe employing over 5,500 people.
Williams endless energy and sense of fun were equally applied with zeal and to his various countryside and sailing pursuits.
With a twinkle in his eye, a ready smile William reached out, embraced life and always counted his blessings.
His funeral was organised by William D Brown. His remains were carried to Ballinderry Presbyterian Church in a horse drawn hearse.