Lisburn Councillor Jonathan Craig admits to being shy and having to work hard to make friends
Lisburn Councillor Jonathan Craig was first elected to Lisburn City Council in 2001 and served as Mayor of Lisburn in 2006–07. He represets Lisburn North and sits on the Leisure and Community Development committee and the Planning Committee.Mr Craig also represented Lagan Valley as an MLA from 2006 until 2017.
Do you have a favourite day of the week, and why is that your favourite?
My favourite day of the week is now ironically Mondays. Since the whole lockdown situation started last year I have been responsible in my church for producing and distribution of church DVD’s and CD’s to those in our congregation who don’t have internet.
It has been a huge blessing to carry this out and week by week have a socially distanced chat with them.
You could see after a few weeks what the stress of not seeing anyone was having on them and the relief of just having someone to see and chat to was bringing to them. I won’t pretend that it didn’t help me, because it certainly did. I was used to being out every day mixing with dozens of people and then nothing, it certainly took a toll on me so these Monday deliveries certainly not only helped me but made Monday’s the highlight of my week.
What are your top three desert island reads?
My desert island reads are simple - the Bible, Pilgrims progress, and an old favorite of mine, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.
How do you ‘switch off’ after a long day of work - do you have a favourite pastime?
My problem is that I rarely switch off, I love to help others. However on those rare occasions that I do, I love to take a book, normally a biography on someone and read for hours. It takes my thoughts to a different place and allows me to stop concentrating on the issues I have had to deal with throughout that day.
Is there anything you cannot live without? (eg your phone, coffee, running etc).
The things I couldn’t live without are my faith, my church, and my Bible first and foremost. On a day to day basis, the thing that insures I am at the right place at the right time, and the thing I spend hours on helping others is my phone.
Tell us something people might not know about you.
As a public representative there is very little you don’t know. But one thing you may not know or realise is that I am actually a relatively shy person who has always had to work hard at making friends and speaking publicly.
Once lockdown ends and restrictions ease, what are you looking forward to doing the most?
When lockdown ends the things I am looking forward to are simply getting back to normal, seeing and talking to my friends at church, having people round to the house for birthdays etc.
And restarting the busy advice surgeries I run every week.
Where is your favourite place to eat out (post-restrictions) in Lisburn Castlereagh?
Spice restaurant -I absolutely love Indian food and truly respect the owners of this very successful restaurant.
In normal times (pre-pandemic) can you describe your perfect day in Lisburn/Castlereagh?
My perfect day pre-pandemic was doing my advice surgery, meeting and assisting constituents, doing several home calls, doing a leaflet drop and enjoying the walk in the process. Plus of course, getting home to my wife and daughter and a lovely home cooked dinner.
What is your earliest memory of Lisburn/Castlereagh?
My earliest memory of Lisburn is a simple one, being taken by my parents to see Orange Parades, particularly the 1st of July parade and of course the 12th of July celebrations.
How would you sum up Lisburn/Castlereagh in three words?
Friendly, welcoming and safe.