Beattie pays tribute to Sam Gardiner MBE

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Beattie pays tribute to Sam Gardiner MBE

Following the sad passing of former Ulster Unionist MLA Sam Gardiner MBE, the Ulster Unionist Party Leader Doug Beattie MC MLA said:

“Sam Gardiner was first elected as an Ulster Unionist to Lurgan Borough Council in 1963 and was elected Mayor in 1968, the town’s youngest ever First Citizen. He was subsequently elected to the new Craigavon Borough Council and served as Mayor three times, in 1982/3, 1988/9 and 2000/1.

“He was elected to the Northern Ireland Forum 1996 as a representative for Upper Bann and then to the Northern Ireland Assembly in 2003, 2007 and 2011, serving as Father of the House until his retirement in 2016.

“He was a former High Sheriff for County Armagh and was appointed as a Justice of the Peace. He was also a member of the Orange Order, deputy Sovereign Grand Master of the Royal Black Institution, a former chairman of Glenavon FC and was awarded the MBE.

“Sam was a very friendly and personable man who was held in high esteem by Council and Stormont colleagues across all parties and by the electorate. He was a man of conviction, a man of passion and a man of dedicated service. The Party will be the lesser for his passing.

“On behalf of the Ulster Unionist Party I would like to send my deepest condolences to Sam’s family and his many friends at this sad time.”