Last of a rural generation passes away in her 95th year

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Born in February 1924, Sarah (Cissie) Beattie was one of the last of a generation from the rural community of Magheramorne, outside Larne.

The local woman, who passed away peacefully on November 25 at her son’s home, was in her 95th year and had spent her working life in farming.

Formerly of Watchill Road, Straid, she is believed to have been the last of her generation of classmates from the Mullaghmossin School at Magheramorne to have now passed away.

Mrs Beattie was the only child of James and Mary Millar of Aldfreck townland, Ballycarry, and she attended Mullaghmossin Public Elementary School at Magheramorne, where the principal was Mr DA Hawthorne and Miss Poag was another of her teachers.

The family lived close to the main shore road through Magheramorne and she would walk a few miles up the braes from the Millar farm to Ballyedward townland, where she reached the county road which led to the school.

It is a sign of the passage of time that the Mullaghmossin School she attended has long since closed down and Magheramorne, which once had at least three schools, no longer has any.

The photograph of the classmates of 1938 includes many of her neighbours; Jack Millar, Tom Stuart, Tommy Liddle, Margaret Workman, Nancy Smyth, Mary Blair, Adam Semple, Alex Liddle and Sandy Hunter among them.

After her school years, Cissie worked on the farm at Aldfreck and, in 1960, she married Hugh Beattie (born 1916), and moved to Ardboley near Straid, where the couple would raise two sons.

Over the years she still maintained friendships which had been forged while she was growing up and living in Magheramorne and she always had a keen interest in the area.

She was a former member of Glynn Women’s Institute, but her abiding interest was in the loyal orders, in which her two sons, Arthur and Thomas, were deeply involved over the years.

Mrs Beattie was a member of the Old Orange Hall ladies committee at Magheramorne for many years, helping with events such as the installation dinners of the lodge, and also a keen supporter of Magheramorne LOL 291, RBP 481 
and Magheramorne Silver Band. Among those who attended her funeral were many members of the local lodges and the Larne Black District Chapter, of which her son Arthur is Worshipful District Master.

The funeral service from her son’s residence at Carrickfergus was to Raloo Presbyterian Churchyard, and was conducted at both locations by Rev Ricky Montgomery. A piper led the mourners to the graveside.

Mrs Beattie was predeceased by her husband Hugh and her son Thomas, who died in 2016. She is survived by her son Arthur, daughter-in-law Lorraine, and grandchildren Jonathan, Christina, Stephen and Robert.

The funeral arrangements were carried out by McConnells (Dignity) Funeral Services, Carrickfergus.