Ben Lowry: Tribute this week to the great News Letter columnist Ralph ‘Bud’ Bossence, who died 50 years ago

Wednesday will be the 50th anniversary of the death of Ralph ‘Bud’ Bossence, a News Letter columnist.

By Ben Lowry
Saturday, 30th October 2021, 2:09 pm
Updated Saturday, 30th October 2021, 3:33 pm
Ralph ‘Bud’ Bossence, a News Letter columnist who died 50 years ago in November 1971. John Trew edited the best of Bud's columns into a book
Ralph ‘Bud’ Bossence, a News Letter columnist who died 50 years ago in November 1971. John Trew edited the best of Bud's columns into a book

Decreasing numbers of readers remember Bud because you would have to be of advanced years now to have read him contemporaneously.

Few people of my generation would know of him — he died weeks before I was born.

John Trew, a predecessor of mine as editor, compiled a book of Bud’s columns shortly after his death. He will be present at the Duke of York on Wednesday at 7pm when fans of Bud’s work gather in the upstairs bar in the Cathedral Quarter of Belfast.

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John will read one of his columns as will Malachi O’Doherty, Roisin McAuley and others.

Malachi says: “It should be interesting to see how people respond to his more dated humour.”

Bud died in November 1971 and a month after his passing a selection of his columns was compiled in a book by John Trew, then features editor. John says “Bud was a gifted humourist. There was hardly a column that he wrote that didn’t give at least one laugh out loud moment.

“I spent every night and every weekend of the month of November of 1971 trying to find the very best of the Bud Bossence articles.

“As I said in my foreword, I was looking to distil the essence of Bossence. “I must have succeeded because there weren’t many books that were selling in that quantity at that time.”

I am very much looking forward to this tribute to one of the many great characters who have been part of this paper’s long and rich history, as the world’s oldest English language daily newspaper.

• Ben Lowry (@Benlowry2) is News Letter editor. Other articles by him below and information on how to subscribe to the paper:

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