Brookeborough's Agnes Lavery truly enriched community life
Agnes Lavery had a big heart and was generous to a fault, always willing to support and contribute to any community effort.
From Knockmacmanus, Brookeborough in Co Fermanagh, Agnes worked as a cook in the kitchen at the local St Mary’s Primary School for almost 20 years.
When its 75th anniversary was celebrated with the publication of the book Our School on The Hill, a constant theme running through the memories of pupils and teachers was Mrs Lavery’s generosity to children at First Communion, Confirmation, and at holiday break time.
Even after retirement she would visit the school on a regular basis, very often in her trademark party costumes.
One of the teachers recalled: "She was a ray of sunshine and someone we loved to see coming through the gates."
Agnes was a willing supporter of all voluntary activity in the Brookeborough area.
A talented singer, she lit up many a social gathering with her renditions of popular Irish ballads and other light-hearted pieces.
When Father Tom Breen came to Brookeborough parish in 1963 and formed a talent group to participate in inter-parish music and drama competitions, Agnes was one of the key members of the drama group and a hidden talent blossomed.
A number of years later when the GAA Scor competitions commenced, Agnes lent her time and energy as a participant and encouraged others to be involved.
An avid supporter of Brookeborough GAA club, through good times and lean times her support was constant.
For the past 28 years she was a dedicated bingo supporter and club lotto collector. Every Sunday evening 30-plus tickets and money arrived to the bingo hall - if not brought personally, her son Eric was delegated the task.
Agnes will also be fondly remembered for her many disguises in the fancy dress competition at the annual sports day and of course many will recall her attire in club colours when the club contested its only senior championship final in 1971.
With her vibrant personality, generous spirit and selfless giving to others, Agnes truly enriched community life.
Agnes Lavery (nee Flanagan) died aged 84 on May 31.