ONE of the most inspirational peace builders in Northern Ireland, Ray Davey, has died peacefully in Dunmurry at the age of 97.
Rev Davey established Corrymeela in 1965 to promote Christian reconciliation and peace-building and led the community until his retirement in 1980.
But the whole life of the 97-year-old, who was born in Dunmurry, was remarkable. He played for the Ulster rugby team and would almost certainly have been capped by his country if it hadn't been for the Second World War.
Educated at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution, Queen's University, Union Theological College and New College, Edinburgh, in 1940 he was ordained for field work with the YMCA War Service in North Africa and helped to establish a centre in Tobruk for use by all faiths to care for the social, physical and spiritual needs of those engaged in desert warfare.
In 1942 he was taken captive and held as a prisoner of war near Dresden, where he witnessed the allied bombing of the city, in which huge numbers of civilians died, and was imprisoned in France and Germany.
To coincide with the 60th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in 2005, Ray released The War Diaries, his account of events during the war, written as they happened, to give a unique view of life during the war and in particular, life as a prisoner of war in a German camp.