Tributes after former DUP mayor passes away

Cecil Calvert
Cecil Calvert

Tributes have been paid to long-serving Lisburn councillor Cecil Calvert who passed away on Friday.

A farmer by profession, Mr Calvert continued to work at his farm all the way through his 30-plus years as a politician, mainly with the DUP.

A former mayor of Lisburn, he also worked as a security guard at Lagan Valley Hospital, a busy schedule which he maintained for the benefit of his family.

In addition Mr Calvert was a devoted member of the Orange Order, Royal Black Preceptory and Apprentice Boys.

He held various offices at Stoneyford Temperance LOL 1253 and was a past master of Pond Park RBP no 13.

Lisburn DUP councillor William Leathem knew Mr Calvert through the Orange Order and was also grateful of his expertise on Lisburn Council matters.

He said: “Cecil was a dedicated constituency worker during his time on council.

“He was like a Jack Russell, when he got the bit between his teeth on behalf of his constituents he wouldn’t let go.”

Mr Calvert left the DUP in 2007 to join the TUV but resigned from the party in 2011. He ran for council as an independent candidate but was not re-elected.

Mr Leathem said: “Not only was he a councillor but he worked as a security guard in the Lagan Valley hospital and he was a farmer.

“He started off on the farm in the morning, then it was onto council business, followed by the night shift at the hospital.

“He worked long past his retirement age. He did it all for his family. He was very much a family man and a man of deep Christian morals.”

DUP group leader on Lisburn and Castlereagh Borough Council, James Tinsley commented: “I knew him personally since the 1980s when I was interested in getting into politics. I also knew him through the Apprentice Boys and the Royal Black.

“I remember fondly when we ran together for council and got elected together.

“He was a tireless worker in the community, he had a unique way of doing things.

“He had been missed this last number of years since he left council and will be missed even more now.”

Mr Calvert was married to Eleanor and had three daughters, Jill, Avril and Charlotte.

A service of thanksgiving for his life will be held in Lisburn Free Presbyterian Church on Wednesday at 11am followed by a private committal.