Bangor Grammarians are deeply indebted to former pupils John Carlisle and Ryan Currie who readily agreed to pen a tribute to their good friend Dean Patrick for our Grammarian magazine.
The 2019 edition, which will shortly enter the production stage, will be delivered to members in the customary digital and printed formats from early September. However, given that Dean was just 29 at the time of his tragically early death, we feel it is appropriate to immediately share the tribute with all past pupils by way of our wide-reaching website and Facebook page.
We would also extend to Dean’s family and friends our heartfelt sympathy on their sad loss.
We said goodbye on 8 February 2019 to former Bangor Grammar School student Dean Patrick (2001-08). Dean was an immensely popular and much-loved figure, enriching the lives of all who came into contact with him.
He was a keen rugby player, his sturdy frame enabling him to play as a forward for the 1st XV. Unfortunately, a serious knee injury limited his appearances. Against all medical advice Dean soon ditched his crutches and opted to hobble around instead. This was typical Dean, showing the tough young man he was.
Although Dean worked hard when it mattered, he despised missing a significant social occasion, ensuring he was, in his own words, ‘right amongst it!’ His laughter was remarkably infectious and he was a fantastic storyteller, often beginning his anecdotes with ‘Right… right… right…’ If you weren’t listening by the third ‘right’ then you were in trouble!
After leaving BGS, Dean studied criminology at Northumbria University, developing his social life in Newcastle before returning to Northern Ireland. He subsequently worked in the logistical department of fashion company Pia Rossini.
His battle with cancer began in 2015, when he was forced to miss his beloved Northern Ireland football team playing in Estonia due to his first round of chemotherapy; the ex-BGS lads in the crowd wore masks of his face in his honour! After defeating cancer first time round, Dean was pictured in June 2016 under the Eiffel Tower celebrating with the Green and White Army – exactly one year after his diagnosis.
Tragically, his illness returned in 2018, but Dean didn’t allow his situation to upset others. He showed immense courage, knowing how it would affect his friends and family. Our lives are so much the better for having known Dean, and we are eternally grateful for the impact he has made on all of us. He will always be remembered fondly.
He leaves behind many friends who adored him but also a family he deeply cared for: parents Brian and Carole; sisters Lyndsay and Denise; grandfather Trevor; niece and nephews Kacey, Harry and Lewis; and Anna, his beloved partner of six years.
Dean was an avid Garth Brooks fan who spent many an evening serenading locals at the Jamaica Inn. No lyrics by Garth sum up Dean’s passion for life more than the following:
Our lives are better left to chance – I could have missed the pain, but I’d have had to miss The Dance.