The death has occurred of Stephen Savage, the former Secretary of the, now defunct, Irish Club, writes Eoin Murphy.
He died in North Middlesex University Hospital aged 84 on 12 November after a short illness.
Stephen was a native of County Down, but had spent the greater part of his adult life in London. An only child, he had been predeceased by his parents some decades earlier; by his father in the 1950s. His father, also named Stephen, was from Dunturk in Castlewellan and had worked as a union organiser in New York City.
When he returned to Co Down in the early 1930s he bought a farm at Magheralagan- some three miles from Downpatrick and married Mary (`Minnie’) McKeown from Ballynahinch. Stephen grew up on the family farm.
From Loughinisland Primary School he went to board at St Coleman’s College, Newry and on to University College, Dublin, where he graduated with a degree in law. Stephen served Articles with a Belfast firm of solicitors and attended law lectures at Queen’s University.
By the mid-1960s he realised he did not wish to make a career in the law and came to London, where he pursued many, mainly academic, interests including Sociology, Social Psychology, General Philosophy and Ethics while holding down a day job as an administrator.
In the 1970s and 1980s he was a keen participant in the weekly debates of The Ancient Society Of Cogers and was, for a while, chairman of his local parish council.
The week before he died he attended his regular Friday philosophical discussion group in Central London. He had an extensive knowledge of Co Down’s local history and of London.
From the 1970s to the 1990s, Stephen was greatly involved in London’s Irish Community including the Council of Irish County Associations and London’s Irish Club in Belgravia, of which he was Chairman in 1990 and Hon Secretary in a number of earlier and later years.
His many friends, mainly from his days in the Irish Club, sent their condolences to his cousins in Ulster, the McKeowns, Savages, Kellys, McCormacks and Brennans; and to his former schoolmate Larry Russell. Funeral arrangements will not be known for some time yet.
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