The death of Mr H C Midgley, Minister of Education, has aroused a widespread feeling of public sorrow, and some measure of it was demonstrated at the funeral yesterday from his home in Knutsford Drive, Belfast, to Carnmoney Cemetery.
There was a great concourse of sympathisers who followed the hearse and assembled in Carlisle Memorial Methodist Church. The highest in the province was represented, and the sympathisers continued on down the line of precedence to many of the rank and file of his constituents who formed the backbone of his supporters in Willowfield and knew him intimately for the great unionist stalwart that he was.
The service in Carlisle Memorial was conducted by the Rev A W Gamble.
Mr Gamble, in a short address, said that Mr Midgley had been described as self-made and self-educated, but that did not do full justice to his great qualities. One of these was humility – he was unspoiled by success. He lived with zest and there was a sort of exuberant vitality about him. He knew that the end might come suddenly, but he continued to live with the same exuberance.
Meanwhile, after laying the foundation stone of St Patrick’s Secondary School at Banbridge yesterday evening, Dr Eugene O’Doherty, Roman Catholic Bishop of Dromore, said it was their duty to offer their sympathy to the wife and family of the late Minister of Education.
They had not always seen eye to eye but it had to be admitted that Mr Midgley did more for school building than any of his predecessors – and possibly more than any of his successors may do.
[In addition to his political career, Henry Cassidy Midgley, known as Harry, 1893-1957, served as chairman of Linfield FC, and the training pitch at Windsor Park is named Midgley Park in his honour.]