Former Enniskillen Police Inspector Instructor and “devoted father” Frederick James (Eric) Bownes passed away peacefully at the age of 94 on Saturday morning.

Mr. Bownes, who was originally from Cookstown, spent the majority of his working life in Enniskillen where he held the rank of Inspector instructor at the police depot training school in the Fermanagh town.

He began his police career at a young age when he joined the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC.)

One of Mr. Bownes’ first jobs as a Constable in the RUC was to cycle from his base at Strangford Police Station to Strangford Lough where a ship, the SS Georgetown, had become stranded.

“Apparently he helped people off the boat,” noted Mr. Bownes’ son Ken Bownes, adding that this took place after the Second World War in 1946.

Describing him as a Christian man, Ken explained that his father had attended the Presbyterian Church in Enniskillen.

“He would have been an elder in the church and he was a captain of the Boys’ Brigade,” said Ken.

Mr. Bownes retired from the police in 1972 and moved from his Fermanagh home at Cooper Crescent, Enniskillen to Antrim town. There he started work at Belfast International Airport where he oversaw security personnel. Noting that his father was a “very caring person” who had his family at heart, Ken shared a story from Mr. Bownes’ 90th Birthday celebration which was attended by many family members.

“When he was 90, the family met in Cookstown where he was originally born and bred. After the meal he said, ‘We won’t be too long now because I have to go pick up all the old ones to bring them to the church.’”

Ken added: “We thought it was a funny thing that when he was 90 years of age he was out driving people to church and they weren’t much younger than him.”

Mr. Bownes’ funeral took place on Tuesday April 2 at the First Antrim Presbyterian Church.

A loving husband of the late Meta and devoted father of Eric, Ken, Janette, Elaine and Paula, Mr. Bownes is remembered and sadly missed by his entire family circle.