Mrs Nora Bain

THE community in Killyleagh was greatly saddened at the death of Mrs Nora Bain on March 1 at the age of 92.

Nora was born in Clarendon Street in Londonderry on June 19, 1928, to Leslie and Kathleen MacLaughlin. She was the younger sister of Betty.

She grew up there and was a teenager during World War 2 when Londonderry was a major naval base. Her parents had an open house for naval officers to relax and this helped to form her strong sense of duty and doing what was right to help others.

Having been educated in Londonderry High School and Coleraine High School — where she boarded — Nora took a year out after the war to do some travelling with friends in England. She then enrolled in Glasgow and West of Scotland College of Domestic Science where she obtained a first class diploma in Hotel and Institutional Management.

This led to a dietetics position in the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast. She was then manager of Inglis’s Restaurant in Belfast for six years.

Around this time she met Austin Bain in the Strand Hotel in Portstewart. She was coming downstairs to the reception area and noticed a tall handsome man leaning on the big mantlepiece, smoking a pipe. She thought ‘this is the man I’d love to marry’.

Austin was a single-handed GP in Killyleagh and they started courting. They were married in 1958 in Rosemary Presbyterian Church in Belfast by the Rev Samuel McVicar, who had coincidentally baptised them both as he had been a minister in Killyleagh before moving to Londonderry.

It was a very happy marriage which lasted 58 years. Sadly, their first baby, Leslie, was stillborn — she never forgot him. They were then blessed with a daughter, Marianne, and a son, David.

Nora was devoted to Austin and supported him in his role as the local family doctor for 35 years until he retired in 1982. She was a loving mother, who did her best for her children. She was also highly active in the community and was one of the founders of the senior citizens’ club in the town. She was popular with those who knew her and never had a bad word to say about anyone.

Nora loved cooking and her roast dinners were a favourite with the family. She also baked delicious cakes, scones and shortbread, which she loved giving to people. She taught her grandchildren to cook and bake from an early age.

She was very generous and in her later years would crochet baby blankets for any of the carers who were pregnant. As one carer put it: “I loved her like a granny and will cherish the lovely blankets she crocheted for the boys. They will know about the wonderful lady who made them.”

Another of Nora’s characteristics was her ability to make friends and keep them for life. She had a lifelong friendship with Betty, who is still alive, and many others from school and college. She was interested in people and did her best to support them if she could.

Nora lived a full life supporting her family and friends, and is sadly missed. She was the beloved wife of Austin, the much loved mother of Marianne and David, dear mother-in-law of Claire, loving grandmother of Gary, Stuart, William, Gregory and Nicola, honorary grandmother of Paula and Marie, and great grandmother of Ellie and Ruby.

A service of thanksgiving for her life took place in Charles Rourke & Sons Funeral Church in Downpatrick and was followed by cremation at Roselawn.