There was shock and sadness in Hillsborough during Easter as the village said goodbye to one of its best known and most well loved residents.
Harry Shortt, who lived in the heart of the village, was a great advocate for Hillsborough and worked tirelessly to promote the area he loved and protect its heritage.
His passion for the village was seen on an almost daily basis as he worked for and promoted the Hillsborough Old Guard cultural and historical society. Harry, who was a founder member and served as Chairman of the Society, was instrumental in raising funds for uniforms for the ‘Old Guards’ who also provided a guard of honour at Hillsborough Parish Church during his funeral on Thursday April 9. Each year he also helped the Society organise an exhibition of war memorabilia in Hillsborough Fort and was at the forefront of the recent commemorations in the village of the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War.
Such was his love for the Hillsborough, he also spearheaded the production of a book detailing the history of the village. Entitled ‘Beloved Of My Heart -Little Hillsborough Town’. the book proved to be a huge success and will be a lasting tribute to the place Harry called home. Pearl Finn, Secretary of the Old Guard, said that Harry will be greatly missed. “He was always there to support us,” she said. “He was a Hillsborough man through and through.”
Over the years Harry was also very active in numerous community groups and charities, including Cancer Research, the Royal British Legion, and held high office in both the Orange Lodge and the Royal Black Perceptory. His fellow Lodge member, former Mayor Councillor Andrew Ewing paid tribute to him, saying: “I have known Harry for over seventeen years. We were members of the same Lodge. Harry was a gentleman and he will be greatly missed by everyone. His passing came as a huge shock to many people and I know that Hillsborough will really miss him.”
Harry was also a dedicated musician and played for many years with Hillsborough Silver Band, Lisburn Silver Band and the Territorial Army Regimental Band. He was also a bell-ringer at Hillsborough Parish Church, something which was very close to his heart.
He was a man of strong Christian faith and a dedicated husband to his wife of over fifty years, Ena. He was a devoted father to Joanne and Roberta and he doted on his four grandchildren.
He will always be remembered as a true gentleman, a caring friend with a Christian heart and a loving husband and father.