THE funeral of former University of Ulster Pro-Vice Chancellor and Provost of Magee, Jim Allen, took place on Monday.
Held at 10.30am in Ebrington Presbyterian Church, the poignant service was presided over by the Minister, Rev Paul Linkens, who also led prayers.
The sermon was given by Rev Dr John Fell, Minister Emeritus of the Congregation, who also led the pastoral prayer, and the eulogy was given by Rev John Bach, Chaplain of the University of Ulster at Coleraine and Magee. Rev Bach, a longstanding friend of Mr Allen has been Church of Ireland Chaplain at Coleraine and Magee for 38 years and also taught in the Faculty of which Mr Allen was once Dean.
A lifelong friend of Professor Allen, Hugh Moore gave the reading, the poem ‘Let Me Go’ by Christina Rossetti, while the Bible reading was taken from Romans 8, 29 to 39, and was read by Jenni Allen, Prof Allen’s eldest daughter.
The hymns were ‘Thine be the Glory’ and ‘Abide with me’.
The Benediction was by Rev Linkens.
Professor Allen, 59, was a pivotal figure in the growth of the University of Ulster’s Magee campus over the past decade.
A distinguished biomedical scientist, Professor Allen was a native of Londonderry and a former pupil of Foyle and Londonderry College.
Professor Deirdre Heenan, who assumed the role of Provost earlier this year, after ill-health forced Professor Allen to step down, paid tribute to his work and achievements.
“We are all saddened by this tragic news. Jim was admired and respected by all who knew him, whether professionally or personally, and the university is diminished by his loss.
“His tireless commitment and boundless energy in the service of the university in general, and of Magee in particular, were an example to us all.
“Jim Allen was a real gentleman: his sound advice, unfailing good humour and great generosity of spirit will be greatly missed,” she said.
In a tribute to Mr Allen, Robin Young, chairman of the Board of Governors for Foyle and Londonderry College said: “
“The Board of Governors of Foyle College were saddened to learn of the death of their former colleague, Professor Jim Allen, after a long fight with cancer. Jim served on the Board for many years as the University of Ulster representative and gave freely of his time and his many talents. He brought his own perspective and wisdom to our discussions and this will be sadly missed. The Board wish to offer his family and many friends our condolences at this time.”
Following the service the funeral procession made its way to Roselawn Crematorium.