An appreciation: Mrs. Daisy Emmeline Moore (nee Logan)

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In January 2012 news of the passing of Mrs. Daisy Moore was received with sorrow and sympathy by the people of Portrush, in particular, perhaps, by those who have lived all their lives in the resort and who recall a lady of great character and graciousness.

Daisy Emmeline Logan was born at Princess Street, Portrush, on April 15, 1916, the second of six children of John and Emily Logan, her mother’s maiden being Nevin.

The Logan family is well known as one which has made many contributions to the Portrush community over the years and in many fields of activity and Daisy as a child learned the lessons that so shaped the rest of her life – the centrality of family, the importance of hard work and the value of service.

John Logan was a building contractor and acted as an agent for Lord Antrim in his interests in Portrush. He also served as a volunteer fireman for over 40 years being awarded the King’s Police and Fire Service Medal on recognition of his outstanding service.

When in her teens, Daisy was awarded an inscribed parchment by the Royal Humane Society for rescuing a young boy from drowning at the harbour in Portrush.

She received her primary education at the Mark Street School before proceeding to the Coleraine Technical School, later joining the Northern Ireland Civil Service.

Prior to her marriage in 1944, she was a clerical officer in the Ulster Savings Branch of the Ministry of Finance, then based at the former Metropole Hotel in Portrush.

A regular attender at worship in Holy Trinity Parish Church from an early age, Daisy taught in the Sunday School in the morning before walking to the Ballywillan Church outside the town to again teach in the afternoon.

In later years, she served on the Select Vestry for a lengthy period, as well as being elected to the diocesan synod. In addition, she was a leader of the Girls’ Friendly Society.

Daisy also organised and ran the annual Holy Trinity Church Fete for a number of years and was involved for a long time with the floral decoration of the church for Sunday services and other important dates in the church calendar.

Amateur dramatics was a field of community activity in which the Logan family has been much involved and Daisy took leading roles both on and off stage in pantomimes and plays organised by the Church Guild and the Portrush Players. She produced and directed several of the annual pantomimes and assisted backstage with many memorable productions.

Through her leadership of the Girls’ Friendly Society, she introduced and taught drama to many young members, as well as the art of flower arranging, for which she had a particular talent, and her young charges won many awards in provincial competitions.

In later life Daisy renewed an interest in painting, working in oils and producing many fine pictures She also sang in the church choir and had appeared on stage several times as a soloist in local amateur concerts, although she modestly never considered herself an accomplished singer.

Predeceased by her husband Norman, who was principal of the Coleraine Boys’ Secondary School, she is survived by two sons and a grandson. Michael lives in Cornwall with his wife Aileen and his son Conor teaches in China. John and his wife Dorothy live in Portrush.

Also predeceasing Mrs. Moore were her four brothers, Jack, Billy, Victor and O’Hara, and her sister Audrey.

The funeral service in Holy Trinity Church was large and representative, indicative of the love and respect in which the late Mrs. Moore was held.

In his address the rector, Rev. Peter McDowell, recalled the many roles which Daisy Moore had filled during her life – as a loving mum, granny, aunt and loyal friend and neighbour. He spoke also of her gentleness of spirit, her acts of service, the impact her life had had on those present that day and on the life of the wider community in Portrush.

“But today is not just about memories”, Mr. McDowell went on, “it is also about celebrating and giving thanks to God for a life that was very well-lived. Daisy had a good life – a life that was long and full and active...

“The things that really matter in life were present in Daisy’s life in abundance. She had a loving and supportive circle of family and friends, a real sense of purpose and also an enjoyment of all that life entailed.

“She lived a good life, a kind and generous life, a giving life, and those who knew her had their lives enriched by her generous spirit. As we bring to our minds our own memories of Daisy this afternoon - those things that are personal to us - we can say to God: ‘Thank you for giving her to us’.

“And we can with hope entrust her back to the care and the mercy and the peace of Almighty God whom she worshipped faithfully throughout her life in this place.”

Mr. McDowell went on to speak of the Logan family’s contribution to the community over the years since Mrs. Moore’s grandfather had settled in the town in the late 1800s and referred to the momentous changes in society and in the town that Daisy Moore had lived through.

It was doubtless in the family home that she had learned the lessons that had so shaped the rest of her life – the centrality of family, the importance of hard work and the value of service to the community. They had been her core values and she lived them out day by day.

Always a person of action she never sought the limelight and those character traits were well illustrated by the story from her teenage years of how she rescued a boy from drowning. It was only the following day, with the arrival of a police constable to thank her for her actions, that her parents learned of what happened.

She gave up work - as was then expected of women in the Civil Service upon marriage – in February, 1944, when she and Norman Moore were married in Holy Trinity Church. He was then a young teacher from Limavady, teaching in the Coleraine Model School, but he volunteered for service in the Royal Air Force and was posted to India.

Daisy had the continuing support of her large family in Portrush until Norman was demobbed in 1946 and resumed his teaching career, which culminated in the position of Headmaster of the Coleraine Boys’ School.

“This demanding educational position meant long hours for Norman, and Daisy played her role to the full in running the family home with organisational efficiency” said Mr. McDowell. “She created for Norman and John and Michael a home of great warmth, love, security and caring.

“It was also a home of welcome for many people – a place that was always busy with family and friends coming and going and enjoying hospitality”.

Daisy, he said, was devoted to her family, taking much interest in her nephews and nieces, and was rightly proud of both John and Michael and all that they achieved in their lives. She took a great joy in her grandson Conor and loved spending time with him.

“Daisy had a strong faith in God and in her church, the rector continued. “This was a place where she spent a lifetime of hours worshipping God and serving the church in many capacities. This was the place where so many of her central life events were marked.

“For Daisy this was sacred, holy ground, not just for her, but for her whole family. Her faith was a gentle one of service to others. She was never about proclaiming it from the roof-tops, but rather worked it out day by day with the gentle, kind and tolerant way she treated those with whom she came into contact.”

Flowers and drama were two of the great passions in life, he recalled. She found much pleasure in her garden and took great delight in her church flower arranging. In many ways, for Daisy, the grandeur and majesty of God could most easily be recognised in the peace and beauty of a garden.

She was a gifted flower arranger and happily shared her knowledge with anyone who wanted to learn more.

Like most of her family amateur dramatics was in her blood. She was involved in the Ballywillan Drama Group and with the Portrush Players, initially acting, and then increasingly moving behind the scenes and producing and directing several amateur pantomime productions and assisting backstage with many plays and pantomimes.

“She took a great pleasure in these. For all involved in amateur dramatics it was a way of drawing a broad spectrum of the community to work together on a project, said Mr. McDowell.

“In latter years she exercised her creative spirit in painting, a hobby she found relaxing and rewarding. Always a generous woman, many friends and parishioners found themselves gifted a piece of art, which again brought joy both to Daisy and to those who received them.

“In retirement Daisy and Norman were inseparable and his death came as a huge blow to her. She came to rely a lot on family and friends, of which she was blessed by many.

“As her health declined over the last few years, the support and care of John and Dorothy and Michael and Aileen had been immense, and also the support and care of the wider family and friends like Susan meant that she was able to maintain her independence in the home she loved for as long as possible.

“When that was no longer possible, she moved into Madelayne Court Nursing Home in Portstewart, just over 13 months ago.

Daisy Moore was laid to rest in Ballywillan Cemetery, overlooking the town she loved.