PETER Jackson has always had a strong sense of social justice.
He never judged anyone based on his beliefs or political outlook, but he stuck to his own.
And he never sought to be recognized for a life fighting social inequalities through community and volunteer service.
Peter has already attended a meeting of his local residents’ committee in Newry on building a community hall and has returned home as chair.
Over the years he has also served as Chairman of the Confederation of Community Groups, Shamrocks Athletic Club and Whitegates Community Business Ltd, as Chairman of Newry Credit Union and Honorary Chairman of St John Bosco GFC, and on the Board of Directors. of Clanrye Abbey Developments and St Bosco Youth Club.
Any organization he joined he gave 100 percent.
He was also a fierce labor activist – something his daughter, Eileen, shared with him. He was a regional secretary for his union and believed in neutral work environments long before it became law.
Peter was born April 19, 1927 to Matt and Elizabeth Jackson, the eldest of seven children.
He attended Cloughogue Primary School, but left education at the age of 14 to help pay off debts on the family farm.
He first worked at Rooney & McParland’s Quarry before moving to sea as a ship driver.
Peter’s career in the Merchant Navy has taken him across the world and his love for travel has never waned. He particularly liked diocesan pilgrimages to Lourdes.
As the troubles worsened, Peter decided to look for work closer to home and got a job at Daisy Hill Hospital.
In 1951, he married the love of his life, May Taylor.
They initially shared a house in Damolly before acquiring one of the newly built council houses in Rooney’s Meadow.
They had 11 children: Madeline, Eileen, Peadar, Teresa, Ann, Patricia, Pauline, Brendan, Colum, Raymond and Orla. With May, he created a loving family environment and made sure their children were denied education.
Peter understood the pain of grief. He was at sea when his father died.
In 1977, he buried his 19-year-old daughter Teresa when she tragically died in England.
Twenty years later, he separated from his soul mate, May. To endure these difficult times, he relied heavily on his faith to carry it through.
Peter was a true patriot who loved his country. He had a grá for music, culture and language.
He was devoted to the Gaelic games and was an unrepentant Armagh in a house full of Down’s supporters.
Peter was always there for others. When two brothers-in-law died prematurely, he immediately sought out his sisters, Rose and May, and became something of a surrogate father to their children.
But her greatest love was her family. He would have done anything for his children.
Peter looked forward to their triumphs and was on hand to pick them up when things went wrong.
When the grandchildren and great-grandchildren arrived, he reveled in their company; they were his pride and his joy.
Peter just loved madness and time meant nothing to him when he had an audience. He was a born storyteller.
He accepted what life threw at him, including recent medical setbacks that impacted his mobility. He was extremely grateful for the care he received at home and at Daisy Hill Hospital.
Peter was highly respected for his honesty and integrity. He was a compassionate man with a playful sense of humor. He loved life and lived it well.
He died at the age of 93 on March 6.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal.