Northern Ireland news

Belfast grandfather who devoted two decades to Quaker Service charity `always had time for people'

David Bass, who was 72 and lived in the Ballyhackamore area of east Belfast, died on Saturday in the intensive care unit of the Royal Victoria Hospital
Marie Louise McConville

A "devoted" Belfast grandfather who dedicated his life to helping those in need of support will be remembered as someone who "always had time for people".

David Bass, who lived in the Ballyhackamore area of east Belfast, died at the weekend in the intensive care unit of the Royal Victoria Hospital.

The 72-year-old, who was involved in the Quaker Service for two decades, had been diagnosed with cancer last summer and went into hospital for an operation in November.

Although the surgery was a success, Mr Bass - who was also known as Fred - experienced post-operative complications and had remained in hospital until his death on Saturday.

Despite not being being a member of the Quaker community, Mr Bass had attended Friends' School in Lisburn, a Quaker school.

Having then studied at Trinity College in Dublin, he went on to become a housing manager with the Northern Ireland Housing Executive.

However, he remained involved in the Quaker Service, a charity which provides support for people in Northern Ireland going through difficult times, and held positions including chairman of the Quaker Service Committee.

Mr Bass, who was married to Mildred and had two sons and one daughter, was involved in many Quaker Service projects including the visitor centre at Maghaberry Prison, for which he was a key holder.

Other projects included the Quaker Cottage on Divis Mountain, which provides care and support for disadvantaged families.

Over the years he also volunteered with organisations including the Citizens Advice Bureau in Lisburn, the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, Children in Need, the Belfast Traveller Support Group and the Community Foundation.

Speaking to The Irish News, Mildred Bass said her husband "lived by the ethos of the Quakers".

"He liked doing work for disadvantaged people and that was something that Quakers would do," she said.

"He was a very caring person. Justice and fairness were very important to him.

"He quietly worked behind the scenes in a whole lot of voluntary organisations."

Mildred said her husband was "loved by so many people in so many walks of life" and would be "very deeply" missed.

"He was a very witty man," she said.

"He was a quiet-mannered person. He was very kind and always had time for people. I know by the response I have got that he was just loved by so many people in so many walks of life."

She added: "He was a very loving husband and a loving father and a devoted grandfather.

"I think his humanity is really something everybody would relate to. His general sense of fairness in life. He would work towards that.

"He never sat back and ignored things that he felt he could do something about."

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