THE family of one of Lisburn's oldest
citizens who passed away last week has paid tribute to a lady
who almost to the end was a fascinating source of information
about times gone by.
Agnes Cecilia Johnson, who would have been
102 next month, spent her last years in Woodgrove Nursing Home.
Prior to this she was a resident of Harmony
Fold but kept well abreast of events in her native Blaris where
she lived until she was in her 40's.
Appropriately Agnes, who never married, was
laid to rest alongside her parents in the family grave at Blaris
's Old Cemetery following Requiem Mass in St. Patrick's Church
at Chapel Hill.
The Cemetery is not far from Priests Lane
where she was born and spent more than 40 years of her life.
In later years Chapel Hill was the location
of a sweet shop she opened along with her sister Isobel which
became a real institution in Lisburn.
Agnes was one of eight children born to
Bernard and Elizabeth Johnson, two of whom sadly died.
She attended Blaris School and her surviving
family believe she also went to the Convent in Seymour Street as
she often talked about having to walk three miles to her place
Her father owned and ran a barber's shop in
Chapel Hill while her mother looked after the farm with the help
of an employee.
After leaving school Agnes remained at home,
eventually looking after her mother and doing her share of the
farm work. However, all this changed in the 1950's when
Elizabeth passed away and Agnes found herself alone in the
She decided to go to the USA where she
remained for four years before returning to Lisburn.
She and Isobel then opened Johnson's
Confectionery Shop which was located where Bow Street Mall
Several generations of Lisburn children
enjoyed sweets bought at Johnsons until the late 1970's when
It was at this stage she moved to Harmony
Fold and just under two years ago there was a proud moment when
she reached the grand old age of 100.
This auspicious day was marked by the
customary telegram of congratulations from the Queen.