Posted online: Sep 27th, 2010
The heartbroken family of a County Derry pensioner who vanished almost a year ago held an emotional service to celebrate his life at the weekend.
Garvagh Kenneth Thompson disappeared in October last year during a trip to Ballycastle Harbour.
The 65-year-old had been due to travel to Australia to visit his sister Valerie just weeks after he went missing.
His disappearance sparked a massive land, air and sea search as dozens of volunteers and a PSNI dog team searched for clues.
The retired lab technician was last seen on October 17 and his car was recovered close to the ferry terminal at Ballycastle on October 20.
Despite the massive search, which involved the Royal Navy and PSNI, no trace of the missing man has been found.
Family and friends Mr Thompson gathered at Garvagh First Presbyterian Church on Saturday for a service of reflection and thanksgiving to remember the father-of-two.
The missing man’s brother Valerie travelled from Australia for the service while his brother Ivan made the journey from England to take part in the moving service.
Mr Thompson’s son Andrew thanked everyone for the support they have shown over the past year.
He said: “A few people said a few words. It’s been a tough time. I would just like to thank everyone who took part in the search for my dad at the time and for the friends and family who have lent their support during this difficult time.”
Mr Thompson was involved in his local church and was an organist at the Christian Workers Mission Hall for many years.
During the service his friend Harry Caskey of Dam Head Miniature Railway Society, of which Mr Thompson was a keen member, paid tribute to the missing man.
Andrew Watson of First Garvagh Presbyterian Church choir, of which Mr Thompson was a member, also spoke kindly of his friend.
A spokesman for the PSNI last night said the hunt for Mr Thompson has not been given up.
He said: “We would still appeal for anyone who was in the Ballycastle area on October 17 to get in touch.”