Members of All Children Together (ACT) invite you to join them in a celebration of all that Bill Brown contributed to the integrated school movement in Northern Ireland from its start in the early 1970s. As the first Presbyterian to join ACT when it became interdenominational in 1974, Bill was a central figure in all the movement’s steps.
At the first seminar ACT held in the Presbyterian Community Centre in Queen’s University, Belfast in November 1974 entitled ‘Inter-denomi…national schools: Why? How? The Way Ahead’, Bill, together with his colleague Victor Leitch, Principal of Omagh High School, addressed the packed hall on the theme: ‘Two cultures, one people’. This highly significant paper with its emphasis on our shared cultural inheritance was further developed in the 1976 ACT Policy document ACT on Shared Schools and was a clear precursor to the cross-curricular themes of education for mutual understanding and cultural heritage later incorporated almost verbatim into the Education Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 1989. There was no aspect of the work of All Children Together from 1972 until its formal closure in 2003 and then the publication in 2010 of the History of ACT: The Struggle for Shared Schools in Northern Ireland by Jonathan Bardon with which Bill was not deeply involved. Without him there would not be 22,828 pupils in 65 integrated schools right across the province in 2017.
Bill died following an accident at home on New Year’s Eve 2016. Up till then, he was fit and well in every way which prompted his wife Phyllis to say Bill literally ‘lived until he died’, words repeated at his funeral by their elder son Roger.
We are very grateful to Amanda McNamee, Principal of Lagan College and her staff, for the warm welcome we received when organising this Memorial Service. We are very pleased to say that Bill’s wife, Phyllis, their sons Roger and Alistair, together with their families and members of the wider family circle will be with us in Lagan College on November 28th 2017 to remember Bill.
Margaret Kennedy and Cecil Linehan
by November 23rd 2017
Lagan College, 44 Manse Road, Castlereagh, BT8 6SA