Educator who had great pleasure in his many hobbies

Jim Sloan OBIT
Jim Sloan OBIT

AS well as being the man who brought the Sinclair C5 to Lurgan, Jim Sloan was a highly-respected educator, a decorated angler and a well-travelled man.

William James (Jim) Sloan passed away on March 16.

Jim was born on December 6, 1950, the third of four brothers. He went to Union Place Primary School then the Royal in Dungannon, where he played cricket for the school.

After leaving school Jim went to Stranmillis College where he completed his teacher training as a primary school teacher.

Jim moved to Lurgan when he got his first teaching job at Dickson Primary School.

It was while teaching at Dickson that Jim met his wife-to-be Suzanne. They married in 1976 in Hill Street Presbyterian Church.

Having spent many memorable years at Dickson, Jim left to become vice principal at Poyntzpass Primary School.

The last post during his career in education was as principal of Loughbrickland Primary School, where he stayed until the school closed down six years ago.

While teaching Jim found the time to complete a BA through Open University.

Jim was a highly-respected educator who gave thousands of children the best possible start in life both through his role as a teacher and principal and through private schooling.

Jim was an incredibly organised man who always made time for his hobbies which included angling, bird watching and staying up-to-date with the latest technologies.

He loved to travel the world with his wife and family and kept meticulously detailed folders of all their adventures which he stored in his study in chronological order.

With his wife Suzanne he went on a half-world cruise to celebrate their retirements and his brother Victor will never forget a trip the four brothers had to India.

Jim’s holiday albums are the stuff of legend, containing not just individually captioned photographs, but such keepsakes as maps, menus, receipts and bus tickets.

Jim’s tour diaries will also ensure that his mischievous sense of humour lives on.

Jim was an accomplished angler who picked up trophies and awards at competitions up and down the country. He was an authority on fishing and was a contributor for a number of Irish angling magazines and newspapers.

In the eighties Jim combined two of his hobbies when he set up FC (Fun-Cational) Computers and Fishing Tackle in Lurgan, Craigavon and Banbridge. Jim liked to keep abreast of the latest technologies and was one of the first men in Lurgan to see the potential of computers like Amstrad, Spectrum and Commodore as a tool for fun and education.

Not wanting to put all his eggs in one basket Jim also sold angling supplies from his premises to ensure a steady all-year-round trade.

He is also crediting with bringing the Sinclair C5 to Lurgan. He sold a few of the vehicles and also offered test drives around the town in the battery-assisted tricycle invented by Sir Clive Sinclair.

Once Jim had an idea in his head there was nothing that would shake his focus.

Jim was a man of many talents who knew a bit about everything. He was able to lend his hand to most things - at school he’d been guitarist in a folk group and he’d always enjoyed photographing wildlife.

His funeral took place last Monday at Hill Street Presbyterian Church. He was buried in Lurgan Cemetery.

Jim is survived by his wife Suzanne and brothers Victor, Wilson and Kenny.