Probus Club pays tribute to President Ken Forbes who sadly passed away this year
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At a recent meeting of the club, members presented a cheque for £1750 to Friends of the Cancer Centre in memory of Ken, who served as the club’s President for 2023.
Friends of the Cancer Centre was Ken’s chosen charity and the presentation was made by his daughter Heather Flanagan to Ana Wilkinson, Chief Executive of the charity.
Ken grew up in Lurgan and after attending King's Park Primary School he went to Portadown College.
When he left college he trained as an Environmental Health Officer. After qualifying he worked in Lurgan , staying until 1982 when he was appointed Chief Environmental Officer in Banbridge District Council, later to become Director of Environmental Services.
He spent the next 25 years there and always regarded himself as very fortunate to work with such a professional group of colleagues.
When in Banbridge he became involved in the work of professional bodies and served on the Northern Ireland Centre Council of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health.
He was also elected to the Northern Ireland Centre Council of the Chartered Institute of Waste Management, serving as its Chair for two years.
He represented the Centre on a national committee and his work for the Institution was recognised when he was awarded Life Membership in 2011.
His contribution to Banbridge District Council was recognised when, in the Queen's 80th Birthday Honours List in 2006, he was awarded an MBE for services to Local Government in Northern Ireland.
A keen gardener, he took up a role as a judge with the Northern Ireland Amenity Council assessing towns and villages in their ‘Best Kept’ competition and also throughout Ireland in the ‘Best of All Ireland’ awards.
During his life Ken took a keen interest in the affairs of the Church of Ireland, serving on select vestries in the Parishes of Donacloney and Magheralin and acted as Churchwarden in both.
He had been a member of the Down and Dromore Diocesan Synod and the Church of Ireland's General Synod for many years. In fact his interest in the Church was transformed into a personal and saving faith in Jesus Christ in the days before his death.
A member of Rotary Club in Banbridge for many years, he served as its President from 1987-88 and was recently involved in organising a celebration event, hosting Rotarians from across the UK and Ireland.
On moving to Lisburn a few years ago, he joined the local Probus Club of Lisburn and greatly enjoyed the friendship and fellowship there.
He was in the midst of his Presidential term and had in fact been organising a charity event in October to raise funds for Friends of the Cancer Centre when the same disease tightened its grip on him.
Based at the heart of the Cancer Centre at Belfast City Hospital, Friends of the Cancer Centre funds life-saving and life-changing projects that make a real and lasting difference to the lives of thousands of local people affected by cancer.