A tribute has been paid to Norman Lynas, chairman of Lynas Foodservice, after he passed away on Saturday morning.
Posting on the company’s website, Lynas Foodservice announces the death of its Chairman.
“Norman Lynas, Chairman of Lynas Foodservice passed away on Saturday 23 November 2019 at the age of 77 after a short but powerful battle with a stroke and then brain tumour. To the very end, Norman trusted his Saviour, Jesus Christ who had utterly transformed his life and He is with Him in Heaven now.”
A touching tribute to Mr Lynas followed from his son Andrew;
“Dad was a man of vision, guts and tenacity, taking over a small Fish shop in Coleraine nearly 60 years and transforming it into the largest Family owned and run Foodservice business in Ireland and Scotland with over 560 staff delivering over 10 million cases of food a year to the Catering trade.
“Ignoring the advice of his Father Bobbie, he took the business on from fresh fish to selling frozen food in the early 1970s. That decision enabled Norman to be at forefront of the frozen food revolution that was happening in Northern Ireland and he grew the business steadily even during difficult times. In 1991, Norman moved the business to Loughanhill Industrial Estate in Coleraine where the business remains.
“From frozen food, Norman started selling Chilled goods, including fresh chicken and cheese in the late 1990s. I joined Dad in the business in 2004 as the business expanded into butchery through its Causeway Prime brand, ambient & non-foods and geographically into an All-Ireland business. Furthermore, the business opened its own Food Outlet stores serving the general public and in the last few years expanded into Scotland. Norman was pivotal in the continued growth of the business throughout, first as the main driver and laterally in the last 11 years as he supported me and the leadership team as they pushed the business forward.
“Dad was a salesperson at heart, he loved getting that extra box into the call. He loved his customers, enjoying calling on them for a cup of tea or seeing them at the different food shows and ensuring that their business was thriving. From schools, hospitals, chip shops to coffee shops he loved “serving the Caterer”.
“Dad loved Coleraine and the local community, involved in the Enterprise Agency and setting up a local Dragons Den in the teeth of the 2008 recession. He was a man who loved people and interacting with them, even at the end of his life he wanted to be around people. In 2017 he received an OBE for services to the Business Community and young people.
“Yet as much as Dad loved this business his first love was Jesus. He was a committed Christian and follower of Jesus as the Lord had transformed him as a young boy of 13. Norman was a committed member and elder of Portstewart Baptist Church, transforming lives as he mentored many young people.
“However, Exodus, a youth disciple organisation formed over 20 years ago was Mum and Dad’s greatest lasting legacy. Committed to seeing young people bolding following Jesus and becoming lifelong disciple-makers, Exodus made them come alive and they served every summer encouraging young people.
“Dad, with Mum at his side for over 47 years lived life to the full. He loved his 3 boys and 7 grandchildren yet he was a spiritual father to many others and has left a lasting legacy well beyond just the business.
“To a life well lived and to my hero.Love
A remembrance service will held at Portstewart Baptist on Wednesday 27 November at 1pm.