The Bishop of Connor, the Rt Rev Alan Abernethy, took part in a Memorial Service held in Belfast Cathedral on January 5 to celebrate the life of hotelier Sir William Hastings.
Sir William died on December 15 at the age of 89. He had been awarded a knighthood in 2009 in recognition of his services to tourism and the community in Northern Ireland. He worked closely with the Tourist Board and was involved with a number of charities.
Politicians and celebrities joined hundreds of others in the packed Cathedral to mourn the man who was an inspiration to so many. Fittingly, two hotel doormen greeted them as they arrived at St Anne’s.
They were welcomed by Dean’s Vicar, the Rev Canon Mark Niblock. During the service tributes to Sir William were paid by his daughter Professor Julie Hastings and his son, Dr Howard Hastings OBE.
The Rt Rev The Lord Eames, former Archbishop of Armagh, delivered the Homily, and prayers were read by the Rev Roy Mackay, 2nd Comber Presbyterian Church.
Sir William’s daughter Aileen Martin read from 1st Corinthians Chapter 13, and there was music from The Priests who sang The Holy City and How great Thou art as well as the Choir of St Anne’s Cathedral.
The hymns sung were O Love that will not let me go, Thine is the glory, risen, conquering Son and Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.
Bishop Abernethy read the Dismissal and the Blessing.
Sir William is survived by his wife Joy and children Julie, Howard, Allyson and Aileen.