College teacher laid to rest

Terry Grant.
Terry Grant.

A FORMER teacher at St Patrick’s College was laid to rest at the weekend in one of the largest funerals the area has seen in years.

Terry Grant (63) fought an eight-year battle with cancer - one he bore with great courage according to friends and relatives. The father-of-two and husband to Colette was a well-known sportsman in the district, playing gaelic football with Aghaderg, soccer with the Bosco Club, and squash and golf with the Banbridge clubs.

Even in the midst of his illness Terry was keen to keep active, taking part in the Past Captains’ nine-hole competition in 2006. Banbridge Golf Club stalwart Tom Fee paid tribute to a dear friend, recalling that occasion five years ago.

“Terry had not been well that whole year and he had played no golf at all,” he said. “But he wanted to play in the Past Captains nine holes competition. Along with his good friend, Seamus McGrath, he struggled round the nine holes. Every shot was an act of bravery. At the end Seamus said that if there had been one hole left to play, Terry could not have managed it. And the amazing thing is, Terry won the Teddy Holton Memorial Salver with the best score of the day. Anyone who witnessed that occasion will never forget it.”

The retired technical drawing teacher was regarded as “an inspiration” by former colleagues and past pupils, many of whom turned up to pay their respects and bid farewell to a popular man. Pupils from St Patrick’s College formed a guard of honour for the esteemed former teacher. Parish Priest Fr Frank Kearney told the congregation at St Colman’s Church that it was the largest number of mourners he had seen at a funeral in Annaclone for some time. Fr McAleenan, a past pupil of Terry’s, took time out from a trip home to concelebrate the funeral mass of his former teacher.

Tom Fee, who was also a former colleague of Terry’s, said his example, particularly in how he handled his sickness, is one which should be followed.

“Terry was an inspiration throughout his teaching career at St. Patrick’s College and to all those he encountered on the sporting scene,” he said. “And, even more so, he was an example to us all in the manner he bore his illness. There were no complaints, no recriminations, just a smile and a positive response.

“Terry was a wonderful human being and it was a privilege to be numbered among his friends. Our sympathy goes out to his wife Colette, his son Christopher and his daughter Catriona. Our prayers are with them.”

- Read Tom Fee’s obituary to Terry Grant in our golf pages on P36-37.