The oldest living clergyman in the Church of Ireland, the Rev. Canon Herbert Aubrey Hamilton Northridge, who celebrated his 100th birthday in June last year, passed away peacefully at the Tilery Nursing Home, Florencecourt, on New Year’s Eve, December 31. He had been ordained 75 years when he died.
Former Rector of Derg and Termonamongan, Canon Northridge, late of Goblusk, Killadeas, beloved husband of the late Moyra, was the dearly loved father of Robert, John, Jean (Persson), Barbara (Fennell), and David and a much loved father-in-law, grandfather and great grandfather. His funeral service was held in the Priory Church, Killadeas, last Friday afternoon, January 6.
The last surviving member in a family of 10, he was a son of the Rev. Robert Northridge and his wife Frances. He was born in Dublin when his father was serving in St. Andrew’s Church, Suffolk Street.
During his years of service as a minister, Canon Aubrey Northridge, who held a Master of Arts, served as a curate in Christ Church, Derry; as curate-in-charge of Convoy; then Rector of Convoy, before becoming Rector of Derg and Termonamongan, from where he retired. In 1981, he moved to Fermanagh.
The Bishop of Clogher, the Rt. Rev. John McDowell, in a tribute to the Canon, said Canon Aubrey Northridge (himself a son of the rectory) “was a clergyman to his fingertips.”
He noted: “He was entirely devoted to God and His Church, which devotion found expression in untiring pastoral care and service in the parishes where he served, from the time of his curacy in Christ Church, Derry, beginning in 1941, but chiefly in his long ministry of 31 years in Castlederg. He will be remembered by his clerical colleagues as a man of immense good humour and common sense and by his parishioners as a forthright friend and shepherd.”
The Bishop added: “As my late father in law (the Rev. Ross Jackson) was a parishioner of Christ Church, Derry in the 1940s Canon Northridge’s name was known to me long before I met him in his retirement here in Clogher. It was a pleasure to get to know him and to benefit from his wisdom. With many others who knew him much better that I did, I will cherish his memory.”
Canon Northridge was a very active figure throughout his long life. He enjoyed outdoor activities especially gardening and he served as Chairman of Fermanagh Gardening Society for a number of years; he continued this interest until his passing.
He had been interested in bee keeping for many years; in fact, it was an interest which spanned from his childhood until his eighties.
Canon Northridge was also a keen fisherman and fished on the River Derg and on Lower Lough Erne.
His removal was held last Thursday evening, January 5, to the Priory Church, Killadeas.
The funeral service was held at the Priory Church, Killadeas, last Friday afternoon, January 6, followed by burial in the adjoining Churchyard.
There were family flowers only, and donations in lieu if desired are to Bishops Appeal and Cancer Research, NI, c/o W.T. Morrison, Funeral Directors, Darling Street, Enniskillen.