Secret of Northern Ireland’s oldest man Billy Noble was his healthy lifestyle

Northern Ireland’s oldest man William ‘Billy’ Noble CBE will be remembered as a hard worker with a love of the great outdoors.

The 106-year-old passed away peacefully at the Jordanstown home he set up with late wife Maude when they married in 1938.

Born on the Limestone Road in north Belfast, he was the second child of Elizabeth and Arthur Noble.

When Billy celebrated his birthday on January 5 he said the secret of his longevity was a healthy lifestyle.

The lifelong Ulster Unionist Party member never smoked and was a teetotaller.

A service of thanksgiving was held in St Patrick’s Parish Church, Jordanstown, following his death last week.

UUP MLA Roy Beggs spoke of “sadness being tinged with warm memories and appreciation for a very long life, which was lived to the full”.

“Mr Noble was a lifelong unionist and his mother was an activist in the Duncairn area of Belfast when it was represented by Edward Carson,” he added.

The former civil servant is survived by sons Colin, Denis and Desmond, as well as three grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

The former scout leader and civil servant, educated at Belfast Royal Academical Institution, instilled in his family the importance of walking, regularly taking them for rambles on a Sunday afternoon to Carnmoney Hill or Knockagh.

The ex-chair of the deaf and blind school in Jordanstown, had worked in the Civil Service estate duty office as a controller.

He retired from the role in 1973 and was subsequently awarded a CBE.

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