Congratulations to Mr Nicky Anderson, a parishioner of St Colmanell’s Parish Church, Ahoghill, who celebrated his 100th birthday on Monday March 28.
Joining Nicky’s family to mark this special day were the Bishop of Connor, the Rt Rev George Davison, and Nicky’s rector, the Rev Dennis Christie. The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council also popped in earlier in the day. [Photo Gallery below].
At a lovely afternoon celebration, Nicky’s son-in-law George and his ukulele band provided musical entertainment, with a selection of popular tunes including Liza and their own Yellow Bird Medley – Nicky foot-tapping along to the music. The four band members had each written a verse for a bespoke rendition of Happy Birthday.
Nicky, who has a wonderful laugh and was happy to share some of his memories with Bishop George and Rev Dennis, was clearly enjoying the company of his family, including his daughter Joyce, grandson Philip, granddaughter-in-law Suzanne and their little girls, Rosie aged five and Georgia, just 11 weeks.
Originally from Belfast, Nicky was a lifelong member of Drew Memorial Church before moving to Ahoghill when he was 70. He still lives independently in his home not far from St Colmanell’s where he was a regular attender before the pandemic. His beautiful garden is a testament to his love of gardening.
He lost his wife Betty just two years ago. As well as daughter Joyce, the couple have a son, David.
Nicky worked in printing, originally with Baird’s, who printed the Belfast Telegraph, working his way up to head of department. He later went into business for himself. Nicky told Bishop George that his first job had been in the Belfast Hospital for Sick Children where he had handled all the correspondence, but he didn’t stay long. “I remember a doctor there was on £5 a week and I was on five bob (25p) and I thought there is no future in this!” he said
“It was worth while moving. I was earning a good salary at Baird’s and teaching at the same time so I was sitting pretty!”
He and Bishop George reminisced about some of the clergy Nicky remembered from the past. He spoke fondly about Drew Memorial, where he had attended the associated Primary School and been a member of the Boys’ Brigade. “By being in the BB boys, started coming to the church,” Nicky commented. “It was great for recruitment. It was amazing all that came out of it.”
He said Drew Memorial (now closed and part of the Parish of St Simon and St Philip) had been a ‘great church.’ “People came from far afield to attend it,” Nicky recalled.
Joyce said Nicky had been in hospital with Covid-19 not long before his birthday, and they were delighted he was home and able to celebrate his big day. “He is a real family man,” she added.
Happy birthday Nicky!