Farewell to a true Glengormley gentleman and town legend

Robert Wiliamson gives a salute from the cockpit of the Mayfly during the renaming ceremoney in the Lilian Bland Community Park last year. INNT 35-444-RM
Robert Wiliamson gives a salute from the cockpit of the Mayfly during the renaming ceremoney in the Lilian Bland Community Park last year. INNT 35-444-RM

GLENGORMLEY came together to pay tribute and bid farewell to one of its sons at the weekend.

Robert Williamson passed away in hospital on Wednesday morning, March 21.

The 86-year-old was a legend in the town having been born and raised in Glengormley. He lived his whole life in his Glebecoole Park home, which he would boast was the house with two addresses.

Originally Number 1 St Quentin Park it changed to Glebecoole Park after the formation of Newtownabbey District in the 1950s.

Robert even helped to form part of Glengormley. During his working life as a digger driver he dug the foundation of Coolehill Park to connect Queen’s Park to the Carnmoney Road.

Robert was a keen historian and collector of vintage tractors and classic cars. He once had a regular history column in this newspaper and in the past number of months, had contributed to our new feature on the borough’s history.

Robert was often seen as an “oracle” within the community given his memory for Glengormley’s many different characters who lived in the town through the ages, and his ability to bring them to life.

Following the bombing of the Glen Inn in 1977, Robert sustained burns and damage to his hearing. To cover his scars he grew a large red beard which earned him the nickname ‘Red Rab’.

On Saturday past, March 24, a funeral service was held for Robert in Fleming and Cuthbert Funeral Directors, Ballyclare. From there Robert was brought back to his Glebecoole home for one final time.

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