The funeral takes place on Tuesday of well-known Derry man Cormac Wilson who passed away at the weekend after a long illness. He was aged 65.
For more than 30 years, Cormac, a father of seven from Bishop Street, played a leading role in supporting local families in need through his work with the St Vincent de Paul.
Indeed, in recognition of this work, earlier this year, Cormac was presented with an international St Vincent de Paul medal at the charity’s headquarters in Belfast.
He will also be remembered locally as a driving instructor.
In an interview with the ‘Derry Journal’ in 2012, Cormac said he had enjoyed every minute of his time as a driving instructor.
He recalled: “I remember I was teaching a young fella how to drive and he thought he was ready to take the test when I knew he wasn’t. He said to me one day that he thought he was like ‘gold dust’ - I told him he was more like sawdust.”
Cormac retired from his career as a driving instructor in 1999 after undergoing triple bypass heart surgery but continued to volunteer with the St Vincent de Paul.
“There was no sense in carrying on with my career as a driving instructor,” he said. “I’d taught countless people how to drive and the business was quite successful but it was time to walk away so that’s what I did.”
Cormac also took great pride in his work with St Vincent de Paul.
He said: “None of what St Vincent de Paul has achieved locally would be possible without the help, generosity and selflessness of the people of Derry.
“The people of Derry are amongst the most generous I’ve ever come across - without them, I don’t think we would be able to help as many local families that we have.
“Our volunteer members in Derry and, indeed, all over the North and the rest of Ireland are absolutely amazing. Their selflessness is so inspiring and the society would be lost without them.
“It’s a great feeling when you help someone and, believe me when I say this, there are still plenty of families and people who need our help.”
In 2007, Cormac was elected Regional President of SVP, meaning he had overarching responsibility for the charity right across Northern Ireland for five years.
Earlier this year, SVP’s current regional President, Aidan Crawford, praised Cormac’s “loyalty and passion”.
“Not only has he volunteered with the charity for more than 30 years but during that time he has given so much to the Society, usually volunteering at least 50-60 hours a week,” he said.
“Cormac is as committed as he always has been to helping others.”
Mr Wilson’s Requiem Mass takes place tomorrow morning at St Columba’s Church, Longtower, at 10am.
He is survived by his wife, Rosaleen, his seven children and nine grandchildren.