Patsy Jordan: A man of principle and integrity
PATSY Jordan entered St Patrick’s Church, Eglish for the last time on a hot summer’s morning flanked by a guard of honour from members of An Eaglish GAC, including former players of minor teams he managed and past chairmen of the Co Tyrone club.
This was the same church where Patsy was baptised, received first Holy Communion, was confirmed and married in, and a church where his unwavering faith saw his weekly attendance up until two weeks before his death on August 28.
Patrick Brendan Jordan was born in May 1950 to parents Joseph and Margaret, the second eldest in a family of five boys and two girls.
He married local girl Anne Fox in 1976 and they were blessed with four children – Elaine, Stephen, Maria and Cathy.
His whole world crumbled when Anne passed away after a relatively short illness in 2017.
Although beginning to suffer symptoms of his own illness at that stage, he kept going stoically to try and keep home life as normal as possible.
On leaving Dungannon Technical College, where he displayed a great aptitude for mathematics, Patsy first gained employment with P&B Connolly, Moy in the readymix concrete section and at the same time continued his education via correspondence courses, leading to a professional qualification in concrete technology.
After a few years, when he achieved a high degree of proficiency in his chosen field, he was afforded an opportunity to join Tracey Brothers in Enniskillen.
His employment there coincided with a huge expansion in the company’s business and Patsy was credited with playing a significant part in its success.
He enjoyed his years with Tracey immensely and developed many friendships with colleagues and customers.
Eventually the daily commute between Eglish and Enniskillen became more time consuming and he reluctantly decided to leave.
He then joined his brother Sean in Jordan Engineering and played an important part over many years in helping to build up the company.
Here again he was pivotal in dealing with suppliers, customers and employees. His work/life balance improved immensely and he was fortunate to be able to have his 10 o’clock tea and lunch with his parents on a daily basis.
Patsy was cautious yet canny and blessed with an astute organisational mind. In recent years he was involved in property development and consultancy.
His great tradition of hand-writing letters was something he did on a regular basis, whether to offer best wishes to sick neighbours or sending congratulatory messages of support when someone excelled at sport or in their job.
Away from work his great passion was St Patrick's GAC, taking an interest in every aspect of its progress on and off the field.
For many years he was a committee member, he was also secretary and in two seminal years he was chairman – in 1984, the centenary year of the association, and then in the 2000 millennium year.
The tree that he planted just inside the gates of the grounds on club centenary day will be a reminder of his contribution.
Patsy always underplayed his own role and avoided the limelight wherever possible. His approach to leadership was one of quiet effectiveness, being accommodative and collegiate, seeking consensus and shunning confrontation.
Aside from his administrative roles he was a successful underage manager, leading the club to Grade 1 county minor titles in 1986 and 1987 .
He was very supportive of the family’s playing careers and took great pride in Anne and the girls' camogie successes.
In recent years and right up to his passing he was especially proud of his grandson Ethan and his stellar progress to date for club and county.
There was a vacant space on the small hillock – ‘Hill 16’ – in Fr Connolly Park this month when the seniors played their last home game of the season. It was from there that Patsy chose to watch virtually all the home games regardless of grade or age grouping. It was a pity that he passed to his eternal reward without knowing that the intermediate league title was secured.
Patsy was an enthusiastic fisherman, finding great solitude on the banks of the Oona River which he knew so well from childhood.
When his eldest sister Mary died in 1986, leaving her husband Jarlath with five very young children, he was a constant support to the family, keeping up weekly visits down through all the intervening years, and offering encouragement, advice and assistance without interference.
Patsy was a person of principle and great integrity, the bedrock of which was his solid yet simple Christian faith.
His passing will leave a huge void in the lives of his children and 11 grandchildren. His quiet diplomacy, dependability and conviviality will also be greatly missed by his sister Ann Begley, brothers Sean, Kevin, Eamon and Brian and entire family circle.
The Eglish district, parish and football communities have lost a dedicated and humble servant who lived all his life amongst them and at all times was willing to play his part for the benefit of the whole community.
May his gentle soul rest in peace.
Patsy’s month’s mind Mass will take place in St Patrick’s Church, Eglish on Monday September 26 at 7.30pm.