It is with great sadness that we report the death of our esteemed friend and colleague, Alastair Laird. All Cookstown Rotarians extend our condolences to his daughter Emma and son Nick.There will be a private cremation service in Roselawn Crematorium on Tuesday, 16 March at 10.00am, followed by a service of thanksgiving in the summer.

Alastair Laird

Past District Governor Alastair Laird

Alastair joined Rotary in 1984 and became President of Cookstown Rotary Club in 1989/90. Ten years later he became District Governor (DG) of Rotary in Ireland. During his time as DG he visited all 77 of Ireland’s Rotary Clubs developing deep and long lasting friendships with people across the island. He represented Ireland at the Rotary International Conference in Singapore in 1999 where he developed life-long friendships with Rotarians across the globe.

DG Alastair at the Rotary District Conference in Co Clare in 1998

District Governor Alastair at the Rotary conference at the West County Hotel, Ennis, with (from left) Gay Mangan, co-chair, Ennis Conference; Martin Mansergh, guest speaker and special advisor to the Taoiseach on Northern Ireland, Economic and Social Matters; Chief Superintendent Liam Quinn, president, Ennis Rotary Club and Jim Eastwood, co-chair, Enis Conference.

As a senior Rotarian he held several roles in Rotary at District level. He chaired the District Foundation (Rotary’s charity) Committee and was the District Extension Officer. As part of the latter he helped found the Rotary Club of Lagan Valley. This involved attending every meeting each week in the club’s first year and providing mentoring and support. He was passionate about encouraging young people to achieve their best and led and supported Youth Exchange projects that took local students to the US and elsewhere

He had a major role in Rotary Polio, Hope and Homes for Children, and  Mercy Ships projects raising hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Outside of Rotary he worked tirelessly in the community supporting local community projects including The Hub and The Mid Ulster Stroke Support Group.

Following the death of his wife Carol, Alastair raised thousands of pounds for the Newry Hospice.

Alastair was Cookstown's best known Rotarian and exemplified  "Service above self"  in everything he did. We will all miss his enthusiasm, jokes, WhatsApp videos and most of all his friendship. 

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