THE PAST YEAR for Lisburn Historical Society has been one of steady passage, and on such courses there is usually one splendid view and for the Society this was in January when for Members' Night our Assistant Secretary, Elizabeth Hunter, organised A Glimpse into the past which was a colourful costume spectacle of mainly female 19th and 20th century clothes from the collection of War and Want.
Elizabeth continued this theme by organising a party from the Society to the medieval celebrations in Carrickfergus, again suitably dressed.
I mentioned last year that Wallace High School was celebrating its Centenary this year and the School held a splendid Exhibition in October reflecting the past together with the present, not only of the School but the District and all those places where former pupils are now living and working. The organisation of this exhibition fell largely on the shoulders of another member of the Society, Miss Joan Wilson. In recognition of the School's Centenary we print J. F. Burns, life and Work of Sir Richard Wallace, a talk which he gave in the School on the 29th April this year.
Work on renovating the Assembly Rooms for the Borough Museum continues and the Curator, Mr. Mackey, hopes that it will be opened in 1981 and we look forward to that occasion.
The death of Frederick Kee in January was a sad blow to the Society and all those who knew him. His contribution to the Society and particularly the Society's Collection was considerable. His passing is deeply regretted.
This is the Society's Third Journal and we believe its contents reflect the growing and widening interest in the past of the Borough, not just the well known facts but also those long forgotten.
WITH THE DEATH of Frederick Kee on January 24th there passed a unique Lisburn figure. In an age when old landmarks are being eroded and neighbourhood ceases to have relevance, Frederick Kee was essentially geared to locality and the intimacies which went along with it. In his case this produced a highly individualized and cultivated person reminiscent of a more refined age.
His friends will long remember his small, upright, spare figure, without an ounce of spare flesh; his bow-tie immaculately in place. The total impression was in character; he was as tidy and neat in his appearances as in his work. His fond of stories was inexhaustible and in spite of their characteristic lack of malice never failed to interest and entertain.
Frederick Kee's connection with Lisburn lasted over 50 years. He came to Lisburn in 1928 to take appointment as a one-man health department to both the Lisburn Urban District Council and the Lisburn Rural District Council and during his lifetime he saw Lisburn change and helped the town to change from a compact early Victorian market town to the thriving town it is today. His tenure of office being a model of self-effacing tact and competent management. The esteem in which he was held was indicated in the way people on seeing him and Mrs. Kee greeted them anytime they walked along Lisburn streets.
On his retirement he devoted himself to his painting and particularly to local history with Lisburn Historical Society for which he will be long remembered.
Between 1970 and 1974 he wrote a series of articles in the Ulster Star on Old Lisburn which in their style, sentiment, feel for the past and modesty were typical of the man. They were published in 1976 in book forth under the title of Lisburn Miscellany and it was an immediate success.
His Christian Faith was as simple as it was profound. We mourn his passing.