01 August 2017

Andy Gordon and Jack Bernhardt remember Rodney McElrea in Omagh Today

Following the BIB reports of 28 June and 5 July on the late, irreplaceable Rodney McElrea of Omagh, Co. Tyrone, we are most grateful to Rodney's widow Ruth and his daughter Lyndsey for copies of commemorations of him, published in the fortnightly magazine Omagh Today. These include two moving tributes: from broadcaster Andy Gordon, a friend for many years and Rodney's right-hand man in preparing and presenting each annual McAuley Lecture; and from Professor Jack Bernhardt of North Carolina, whose friendship with Rodney began when they joined forces in presenting the lectures. Copies of this issue of Omagh Today can be ordered through its website.

The funeral service programme shows that the hymns included the well known 'What a friend we have in Jesus' and 'Amazing grace', and another of which Andy Gordon writes:

As I sat at his funeral and the first hymn was announced as being Rodney's favourite, I couldn't believe it - he was doing in death what he did during our nights together - he played something I had never heard - 'There's a wonderful story' - and it was beautiful. I imagined him looking down and saying 'Here Andy, this one's for you, you'll not know it but you'll like it.'

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