Equipping for Life for a better future

Irvine Lavery: Volunteer Tutor in Malvern School

Irvine’s career has been in one form of transportation or another. It began in the Merchant Navy at the age of sixteen as a Cadet Officer with Headline Shipping in Belfast. He then spent ten years as an officer with a Hong Kong shipping company, coming ashore as a Captain. Subsequently he was a lecturer in the University of Ulster and finally the Transportation Development Manager in Translink (his “dream job”). During his time at sea visiting many countries he developed a passion for public transport. Thus, in the 80’s and 90’s as an academic he enthusiastically campaigned for modernising Belfast’s public transport system and for a reduction of air pollution. His work was recognised by the award of an MBE in 2003 for services to transport planning in Northern Ireland. He became an international authority on transport for elderly and disabled people and somewhere along the way also acquired a PhD for research into ameliorating transport problems.

He did not become a Christian until his early forties when he was impacted by the Holy Spirit on Easter Monday in St. Alban’s Cathedral. Since then he has been continually active in a number of ways in the Church of Ireland with a particular passion for Summer Madness where he has witnessed many lives changed and several hundred people of all ages come to Christ. He has been involved in Prayer Ministry for many years and believes that all churches should be involved with inter-denominational and reconciliation projects.

As a Diocesan Reader he regularly preaches and leads services in Knocknagoney Parish Church.

Irvine has known Brother David for many years and greatly benefited from his teaching. When Brother David asked him to become a Reading Tutor in Equipping for Life he readily agreed to this important role (in Malvern Street Primary).

He was born and bred in Sandy Row and as a young boy was encouraged to read by his grandfather who regularly bought books for him in a second-hand bookshop at the top of Sandy Row. This inculcated in him a lifelong passion for reading which changed his life. He would not have become a sailor if he had not read “The Coral Sea” or “Drake’s Drummer Boy” etc. Thus, he believes that it is vital for young people to immerse themselves in books. He feels privileged to impact young people’s lives by encouraging a love for reading.

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Equipping for Life, Irvine Lavery