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Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Former MLA pays tribute to ‘Ballymean’s most famous son’

Former DUP MLA and Member of the Education Authority Mervyn Storey has expressed his sadness at the news of the passing of Sir William Wright CBE,

Commenting Mervyn said, “It was with great sadness that I learned this morning of the passing of William (willy) Wright.

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“William was one of Ballymeans most famous sons, indeed of Northern Ireland. He will be long remembered for the contribution that he made to his home town and Northern Ireland in many different roles and responsibilities. As an outstanding entrepreneur he was the founder of the World famous Wright Bus. He was greatly interested in the education of our young people and for many years faithfully served on the NEELB, indeed you didn’t have to be long in his company until the subject of education came up.

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“A Unionist and Orangeman without apology no matter where in the world he was.

“Despite all these involvements and many more, William Wright was first and foremost a man of faith. He had a personal saving faith in Christ and today we know that he is with his Saviour whom he loved and served.

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“Of him it can be said as it was of one old Testament character,

‘Know ye not that there is a prince and a great man fallen this day in Israel’ 2 Samuel 3 v 38

“We extend our sympathy to his wife and family and assure them of our thoughts and prayers.”

North Antrim MP Ian Paisley also paid tribute to Sir Wright, saying: “Today, with the passing of Sir William Wright, Ballymena has lost a giant.

“A Godly man of faith. A loyal Ulsterman. An entrepreneur without match. We will not see his like again.

“I wish to extend to Lady Wright and to all the family my and my families and our party’s sincerest condolences for their loss.

“Sir William was a giant character. He was one of the last true captains of industry and commerce and a man who has left his mark, not just locally but globally. Everywhere there is engineering or manufacturing or sales of busses his genius will be remembered.

“I have had the honour of knowing him and his family for decades. He was both a political and business leader. He cared passionately about the employment and skills training of local people. He loved Northern Ireland and he was dedicated in everything that he did. When in his presence you knew you were with someone remarkable. He had that X factor that, so few possess. But those who have it make a difference to all around. Northern Ireland was so fortunate to have him as a son.

“To his immediate and extended family. They can take courage in his faith, which was strong. His witness purposeful. At their time of great loss, they know many people across the entire country will be praying for them.”

Statement by North Antrim TUV MLA Jim Allister on the passing of Sir William Wright

“The passing of Sir William Wright is a sad and seminal moment for the town and community of Ballymena and district.

“A Freeman of the Borough, few have left such an indelible legacy in terms of lasting jobs and contribution to economic, engineering and manufacturing success in the area. Wrightbus, which he built up so assiduously, remains both a key and large employer in the district and leader in terms of trail-blazing technology, presently evident in the hydrogen and electric bus market. Much of this success can be traced to the foresight and leadership of Sir William, an entrepreneur of exceptional talent.

“I wish to convey to his widow and family sincere Christian sympathy.”

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