Tributes have been paid to Northern Ireland’s oldest man William “Billy” Noble, who passed away peacefully at his Jordanstown home last week.
A Service of Thanksgiving was held on April 28 at St Patrick’s Parish Church in Jordanstown to celebrate his life.
UUP MLA Roy Beggs paid tribute to Billy, who was a lifelong party member.
Speaking on the day of the service, Mr Beggs commented: “It is with sadness that today we say goodbye to William Noble CBE.
“However, it is sadness tinged with warm memories and appreciation for a very long life, which was lived to the full.
“Mr Noble was a lifelong Unionist and his mother was an activist in the Duncairn area of Belfast when it was represented by Edward Carson.”
The East Antrim MLA dubbed Billy “Northern Ireland’s most senior Ulster Unionist.”
He continued: “It was wonderful that so many tributes were paid to him when he turned 106 in January.
“Not only was he Northern Ireland’s oldest man, he was literally Northern Ireland’s most senior Ulster Unionist.
“It was a privilege to have known him, and my sympathy is with the whole family circle, especially his son Denis and daughter-in-law Pamela who cared for William, and who will miss his presence most acutely.”
Born on January 5 1909, Billy had received his seventh birthday card from the Queen and his seventh birthday medal from the President of Ireland.
He still lived in the same Jordanstown house which he bought in 1938 when embarking on married life with his late wife Maude. Billy was father to Colin, Denis and Desmond, father-in-law of Bridget, Pamela and Elaine, grandfather of Jennifer and her husband Harry, Olivia and William and great-grandfather of Henry.