Dr Anthony (Tony) Damoglou

5 April 1942 - 23 May 2020

Ivan Baxter recalls the life of this widely respected champion of pensioner values

Members and colleagues in CSPA, and his many friends in the wider pensioner movement in Northern Ireland, were immensely shocked and saddened by the sudden death of Tony Damoglou on 23 May. Tony was the Northern Ireland Branch honorary secretary and a valued member of the National Executive Council for many years.

Prior to his retirement, Tony held the joint position of lecturer in agricultural bacteriology and food science at Queen’s University, Belfast, and principal scientific officer in the Science Service of the Northern Ireland Department of Agriculture. Tony’s expertise was in food hygiene and food spoilage and he published scientific papers and supervised a number of doctoral students in these areas. He was also a valued adviser to the food and agricultural sectors in Northern Ireland.

CSPA members in Northern Ireland, and those in leadership roles of other pensioner organisations, particularly the recently defunct Age Sector Platform, will remember Tony with much affection. One of our more recent Committee members talked about ‘ the fatherly touch Tony had with we "young uns"; and went on to cite the example of their first AGM attended, where Tony ‘took care to see I was "at home" , introduce me to other delegates and on return home phoned from the City airport to check that see I was safely on the bus back home.’ The Committee member stated this was just one example of the decency and character of the man.’

Tony was a very warm and personable individual and his academic and scientific background brought a dynamic, visionary and energetic approach in seeking to improve the lives of older people.

One such action, for which he will be remembered, was a personal initiative that had a significant influence in the preservation of the triple-lock for the uprating of state pensions following the general election of 2017.

At CSPA national level, Tony’s thoughtful and intelligent contributions to debate, delivered in a quietly persuasive style, made him well respected by colleagues on the Executive Council and valued by us all.

Tony pursued many and varied interests. His knowledge of IT enabled him to set up and maintain the Northern Ireland Branch website. He assembled and drove a kit car, was a keen cyclist and, together with his wife Eleanor, restored their magnificent Georgian townhouse in the village of Moira, County Down, for which they were shortlisted for an award by the Ulster Architectural Heritage Society.

Tony was a much loved and devoted husband, father and grandfather. He is survived by his wife Eleanor, four daughters, sons-in-law and grandchildren, to whom we send our sincere condolences.

His funeral took place from his family home on 29 May. Because of the Covid-19 restrictions in place, neighbours and friends, including members of the CSPA and the wider pensioner movement, lined Moira Main Street to pay their respects. In a poignant and novel tribute, a group of Tony’s cycling friends accompanied the funeral along Main Street, ringing their bells.