Tributes paid to church choir member Bessie

MISS Elizabeth Margaret Giffen passed away on 11th January at Craigavon Area Hospital.

Bessie, as she was affectionately known to everyone who had the pleasure of knowing her, had reached the grand age of 88 years.

She was brought up in Friars Place, Riley Street and attended the school there. She left and went to work in Brookfield Factory and then worked for 44 years in Smith’s and received a gold watch for her services to the company and her late sister Sarah also received a gold watch for services rendered.

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She then went to work in Edenderry Factory following Smith’s Weaving closure and spent her time there until her retirement.

She moved at a time to Primrose Gardens and then moved with her late sister to 44 Rathfriland Road. Her life revolved around Scarva Street Presbyterian Church, being a devout Christian.

She was a Sunday School Teacher for 53 years - the longest ever recorded teacher and at the same time sang in the Church Choir and was a regular attender at all services. She sang with duets and quartets in different Churches.

Bessie is survived by one brother-in-law Sandy Brown, nephew John, niece Jill and their families.

The funeral took place on Sunday following a service in Scarva Street Presbyterian Church, at which the Church Choir was in attendance and many former and present teachers were in the congregation.

The hymns ‘There Is A Green Hill Far Away’ and ‘The Day Thou Gavest Lord Is Ended’ were sung. Mr Tom Haire presided at the organ and the services were conducted by the Rev A. Watson.

Mr Seamus Burke spoke in glowing terms of Bessie’s life and a lesson was read by the Deaconess Miss Kathleen Spence.

Mr George Rice, who visited Bessie at Iveagh House Nursing Home and also at the hospital, rendered a solo on the flute of the new version of ‘The Lord Is My Shepherd.

The family would like to convey their thanks to Craigavon Hospital and Iveagh Nursing Home for the care and attention that Bessie received.

The interment took place afterwards in the adjoining Churchyard.

A family tribute was placed on the grave and donations in lieu of flowers are being sent to William Bell and Co. Funeral Directors, 23 Kenlis Street, Banbridge, BT32 3LR for Scarva Street Presbyterian Church.

William Bell and Co had charge of the funeral arrangements.