Keen local pilot introduced ‘Flying for the Disabled’

Harry Hanna indulging his passion for flying.
Harry Hanna indulging his passion for flying.
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The recent passing of one of Lurgan’s most respected and well-loved businessmen inspired an overwhelming and most generous response to his family’s request for donations, in lieu of flowers, to the Southern Regional Hospice, Newry.

RH (Harry) Hanna, Proprietor of Hanna Bros. Plumbing and Heating Contractors, Union Street, Lurgan, died on 8th February.

Harry Hanna.

Harry Hanna.

Harry’s death followed a long period of illness, during which time he was cared for at Craigavon Area Hospital Mandeville Unit,The Macmillan Palliative Care Team and finally at the Southern Area Hospice.

An astounding total of £1,610-00 was donated by family and friends in Harry’s memory.

This will be a most welcome gift to the ongoing work of the Southern Regional Hospice.

The Hanna family would like to say a heartfelt ‘Thank You’ to all who donated, called at the family home, sent cards or attended the funeral on Sunday 10th February.

Harry Hanna with his wife Isabel.

Harry Hanna with his wife Isabel.

Indeed, Malcomson’s Funeral Directors commented that Harry’s funeral was the largest they had ever conducted at their new premises.

Mourners from all across the local community and from further afield joined with Harry’s family to celebrated his extraordinary life.

Harry Hanna succeeded his Father, William, as owner of Hanna Bros, the family business, in 1967.

It was founded over 100 years ago by Harry’s Grandfather, WD Hanna. It is one of the longest running family business in Lurgan.

Today the business is continued by Harry’s son, Stephen Hanna. The business was originally based in High Street, Lurgan before the premises were destroyed in a bomb in 1971.

In recent years the business operated from the family home, 95 Union Street, Lurgan. Harry was a skilled and knowledgeable Master of his craft and spent his lifetime working amongst the homes and families of Lurgan.

Those who attended his funeral recounted stories of Harry’s generosity of time and spirit, many describing him as ‘A real gentleman!”

During the early 1980s Harry discovered his other passion in life! Gliding.

He contacted the Ulster Gliding Club and arranged a visit to their Open Day. He was hooked!

Harry quickly learned to fly the club Gliders, he soon progressed onto powered planes, gaining his Private Pilot’s Licence. He served as the Chief Flying Instructor at the UGC for many years.

His passion and love for flying was infectious. He taught others to fly and to enjoy this wonderful sport.

One of his proudest moments was being able to introduce ‘Flying for the Disabled’ into the club – allowing many with disabilities to experience the freedom of the skies in a specially adapted Glider.

Harry was a life-long member of his local Masonic Lodge and just recently was presented with his 50 Year Jewel, something he was extremely proud of.

His funeral was conducted by Rev Canon Will Murphy, St Anne’s Cathedral, a friend from Masonic years.

Harry Hanna was a Lurgan man all of his life, born at 75 Union Street, lived in 5 High Street with his parents, William and Elizabeth, sister, Nell and brothers Bill & John. He attended King’s Park Primary school and later Lurgan College.

Harry married his wife, Isabel, in 1962 and they enjoyed almost 57 happy years together in their home at 95 Union Street.

Harry was a proud father and grandfather, he delighted in his three children and their achievements.

His eldest daughter, Jenny, is a Teacher at Lurgan Junior High School. His son, Stephen, following a career in the Northern Ireland Fire Service, now runs the family business. His youngest daughter, Carole, is a Personal Assistant at ABC Council.

Harry was never happier than when he spent time with his young grandson, Sam, and would readily admit to being the doting ‘Granda’!

Harry is survived by his wife, his children and their families, his grandson, Sam, and his sister Nell Prentice and brother, John Hanna. He will be greatly missed by his wider family circle and those who knew him.