Mrs. Myrtle Curran: A stalwart West Church Choir member for 70 years

Myrtle Curran.
Myrtle Curran.

West Presbyterian Church in Ballymena has lost one of its longest-serving members, by the death of Myrtle Curran.

Aged 86 she had been in failing health for a number of years and passed away on Sunday, October 5.

Myrtle was born on February 2, 1928, her parents were Mr and Mrs Duffin Francey and at the age of 13 she joined West Church Choir in which she was to become a “fixture” for the next 70 years.

Educated at the local model and technical college, Myrtle commenced work as a receptionist in the “Ballymena Weekly Telegraph” on Wellington Street. Her future husband, George Curran, was the highly-respected Editor of the paper, and the couple enjoyed nearly 25 years following their marriage in 1968.

George, too, had a long and valued association with the West Church. He had a spell as Church Secretary and was Senior Elder when he died in May 1992.

Myrtle left the newspaper to take up a responsible post with O’Kane poultry, where she was a member of its staff for 20 years until her retirement.

Mourners who packed Henry’s Funeral Parlour for a service of thanksgiving for Myrtle’s Life were told by West Church Minister, Rev. Daniel Kane, that she had been a “real character with a huge sense of humour”, whose “second home” was her church and choir.

Mr Kane alluded to the generosity with which Myrtle contributed to many charities and said she would be sadly missed by her many friends within the church.

Myrtle was heavily involved in church life: choir member, Sabbath school teacher Girls’ Brigade officer and holiday relief organist, a role she shared with the late Eileen Gillies.

Outside of church affairs, Myrtle had a long association with Ballymena Music Speech and Drama Festival, as well as being a prominent member of Ballymena Senior Citizens’ Club.

In January last year, Myrtle’s remarkable service as a choir member was recognised when at a function to mark the 150th anniversary of West Church, she was presented with a scroll by the moderator of the General assembly, RT. Rev. Dr. Roy Patton.

Following the service last Thursday, interment took place at Ballymena cemetery.