Audrey and Joan
small photo album
some good news, a relative of Audrey &
Joan's has been in touch and we now have some history on these 2 ladies
and others in the photos, Thank you very much 'Ian Alexander' for this
This album relates to the family of William and Eleanor Alexander (née
Rodgers). They had four children, Audrey and Joan who feature in the
album plus another daughter, Maureen and a son also called William who
is mentioned in one of the photos. The family lived at Rosedene on Old
Cavehill Road which is pictured in a number of the photos. Some of the
other photos were taken at Millisle, I suspect, and also at Portrush
where the family holidayed. William was born in 1883 at Greenmount Road
(now North Queen Street), the son of a newspaper compositor, and later
moved to Clanchattan Street from where he married Eleanor, the daughter
of a boilermaker in the shipyard from Grampian Avenue.
William Snr. started
working as a clerk in James Mc Caughey & Co. Ltd., Henry Street, as a
teenager and quickly learned the trade and eventually became managing
director of the firm. McCaugheys were major flour and grain importers
and millers of the time. William became a prominent figure in local
commercial life holding positions in various trade bodies, including:
- President of the Irish Flour and Feeding Stuffs
- Governor of the Presbyterian Orphans Society.
- Secretary and elder of Macrory Presbyterian Church. He had been
secretary for 20 years and elder for 14 years.
- Chairman of the Local Committee for the Royal Society for The
Encouragement of Arts Manufactures & Commerce.
- Member of the Ulster Reform Club.
- President of Cavehill Bowling Club.
In addition, he was President of Belfast Rotary
and during this presidency was awarded honorary life membership of the
Board of Management for the Belfast Hospital for Sick Children in 1929
to acknowledge his fundraising efforts for the hospital. Very much a
family man, his personal life was devoted to his family and the Church
where he was an active member. This was recognised in the Address at his
funeral in 1951, read by the Rev James Patterson of Macrory Presbyterian
Church, which "praised his kindness and generosity in both his family
and church life with reference to how he rose in business circles, where
he attained the high position of managing director in McCaugheys and to
whom the firm owed much of its prosperity and growth while never
advancing either his own position or that of the firm by any shady or
dishonest practices. His life was honoured throughout not only by his
fellow directors but by his business associates and even his
Eleanor, continued to live in the Antrim Road area until she died in
1989 at the age of 96.