Tributes paid to bandmaster who died on Twelfth

Harry Fairley.
Harry Fairley.

A memorial service was held this week for the Scottish bandsman who died in the town on the Twelfth of July.

Harry Fairley was a regular visitor to Lurgan with Broxburn Loyalist Flute Band.

The 49-year-old from Pumpherston in West Lothian had paraded with his band on the Twelfth morning, however he did not take part in the return parade, telling his host Victor Stewart that he was going to return home.

It’s understood Harry had been complaining of chest pains earlier in the day.

As he was walking along the Gilford Road at around 5pm passers-by noticed him staggering before taking a heavy fall.

Members of the public, including a doctor, tried to resuscitate him at the scene before paramedics arrived.

He was taken to Craigavon Area Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

On the Thirteenth of July, the day after Harry’s death, Broxburn band showed tremendous courage to parade again with Harry’s two sons Scott (23) and Lee (21) in their ranks.

They received an emotional reception from townsfolk as well as fellow bandsmen and Orangemen.

Harry was bandmaster with Broxburn and was described as the ‘pinnacle’ of the band.

During what was to be his last visit to Lurgan, Harry had been staying with Victor Stewart. His two sons were staying with Lexi Davidson.

Lexi said: “His family and the band were his life. Having the band out on the Thirteenth is what Harry would have wanted.

“If he’d been able to send a message to his boys it would have been, “Get yourself together and get ready to go”.

A memorial service was held on Sunday for Harry at the place where he collapsed and floral tributes were laid.

A book of condolence has been opened for Harry by the Progressive Unionist Party. It remains open online until Friday, but those without access to the Internet can sign the book at Mourneview Community Centre.