My father, Frank Edgar, who has died aged 87, was one of Northern Ireland’s most experienced civil servants and made significant contributions to many aspects of life in the province. He was one of a postwar generation that fundamentally believed in the value of public service.

Frank was born in Belfast, the oldest of two sons to Mae (nee McNeice), a hairdresser, and Bob, a mechanic, and won a scholarship to attend Methodist College. An enthusiastic cricketer, sailor and golfer, he once undertook school detention with a fellow pupil, James Ellis (later an actor, and star of Z Cars) for throwing snowballs in the quadrangle.

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