HUNDREDS of mourners have attended the Funeral of broadcaster Gerry Anderson.
Mr. Anderson, who passed away at the age of 69, was a popular presenter on BBC Radio Ulster and had also presented programmes on national radio and on television.
His Funeral was held in his home city of Derry. Requiem Mass was held in St. Eugene's Cathedral.
The many mourners heard Father Paul Farren describe the broadcaster as a man who had been "full of life" and who had "died too soon".
Fr. Farren continued: "We gather to give thanks to God for Gerry's life and for all the gifts and joy and entertainment that so many people received through Gerry, especially those whose lives he brought light and joy when light could be dim and joy hard to find."
Followng the Service, Mr. Anderson was buried in the City's Cemetery.
A self-taught guitarist, the Derry man had enjoyed early success with the showband The Chessmen and went on to play and tour with other bands in the U.K. and in Canada where he lived for a time.
After a long period of touring, he decided to put his music career on hold while he returned home to study for a degree in sociology and social anthropology. With a postgraduate diploma in education to follow, he embarked upon a career in teaching.
However, his great gifts as an entertainer led him to begin a new career as a broadcaster with BBC Radio Foyle in Londonderry in 1984. His show with co-presenter Sean Coyle very soon became Province-wide on Radio Ulster and proved to be one of the most popular shows on the station.
His humour came to the fore when he dealt with the difficult issue regarding the name of his home city Londonderry/Derry. Mr. Anderson renamed it ‘Stroke City’ settling the matter to the satisfaction of everyone.
During a career which spanned 30 years, he at one point presented a show on national BBC Radio 4 as well working on a number of TV programmes.
In 2004, he was named the Best Regional Presenter at the Royal Television Society journalism awards. The following year he was inducted into the UK Radio Hall of Fame.
Tributes were lead by the director of BBC Northern Ireland, Peter Johnston, who described the broadcaster as a “true legend of the industry”.
Mr. Johnston said: “This is a day of great sadness for everyone at Radio Foyle, Radio Ulster and BBC Northern Ireland, and of course our thoughts are with Gerry’s wife and family.
“Gerry was a man of great wit and mischief, but he also brought great wisdom and insight to what he did. Of course, he’ll be sadly missed by all of us, but also by all his loyal listeners, for whom he often brought light on dark days over the decades.”
Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness also paid tribute. He said: “Gerry Anderson was recognised throughout the island as a unique broadcaster — someone who brought his own inimitable style to the radio and obviously his programme was compulsive listening for many of us who had to travel to Belfast every morning.”
Mr. Anderson passed away following a long illness. He is survived by his wife Chrstine and children David and Kirsty.
To view an excerpt from an archive interview in which Mr. Anderson talked about City of Culture 2013 in Derry, click here.
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