Local man Pat McCambridge has retired from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs after over 35 years.
Well know and respected in north Antrim and the surrounding area all his friends and colleagues said a fond farewell at a recent party organised by Victor Chestnutt, Bill Harpur and Ronnie Duncan in The Hedges Restaurant, Stranocum.
Now living on Strandview Road, Pat was born at Crook in the Townland of Drumadoon and was educated at Ballyeukin Primary School and then at Cross and Passion College, Ballycastle.
He studied at QUB from 1976 - 1980 which was four years of continuous academic study with no placement year.
From 1980 - 1981 he completed the Communications programme at Loughry College which was a prerequisite at that time to get employment with DARD.
In 1981 he started work as a general adviser in Omagh.
In 1986 transferred to Ballymena then shortly afterwards to Ballymoney. Since 2010 he has been based in Coleraine.
Married to Dymphna who sadly passed away in 1997, Pat has two children Donal and Patricia and one grandchild Liam.
Friend and colleague Maurice McHenry said: “Pat came from a family with a long established record in farming over the generations. His father Donal, who died in 1987, was regarded as one of the top farmers in the North Antrim area. It was one of the reasons why Pat was held in such high esteem by the farmers he visited.
“In recent years Pat was responsible for the Monthly Management Notes for the Beef and Sheep Sector, Local Benchmarking and the Introduction of New Technologies.
However it was his approach to farmers that made him so popular.
“He had an excellent ‘bedside manner’ always conducting himself in an exemplary manner. Gently pointing in the correct direction, praising where appropriate and never confrontational.
“It is for the above reasons that he will be missed.”