Latest News

Radius Housing

Digital Champion becomes Centenarian - and still loves to 'Google'!

02 Jun 2017

Digital Champion becomes Centenarian – and still loves to ‘Google’

The Reverend Joe Mooney from East Belfast who celebrated his 100th birthday today, Friday 2 June and says Google, keeping up with the news online and digital technology keeps his mind active. Joe''s birthday celebrations commenced with family, friends and neighbours at Radius Housing’s Dean Crooks Fold, Upper Newtownards Road, Belfast.

Joe, (now retired) who still lives independently in Radius Housings’ Dean Crooks Fold, says “I have always been interested in technology and I just took it as it came my way.   I learnt to use the computer and it suited my needs for work and keeping in touch with friends and family all over the world.

From 1940 – 1960, he and his wife Margaret, a Nurse, now deceased, served as Christian Missionaries in Nigeria, West Africa.  This work he found to be both challenging and rewarding.  From taking the Gospel message to people who had never heard of Jesus Christ and later being engaged in work that had been established forty years previously, now comprising a full Church which seats  over one thousand worshipers. There is an Elementary School for children and young people as well as a busy Dispensary.  One mile from the main Station there is a Teacher College and a Hospital with a resident Doctor.  As he left Nigeria, he felt that his work and that of his predecessors was not in vain.

“During our time in Nigeria we made many friends who now live all over the world.  I immediately saw the benefits of being able to keep in touch so easily when email and the internet came along; this was of great interest to me. 

“In 1960, we returned to Northern Ireland with our young family, our son, Gordon and daughter, Eileen and I was called to minister in the Grange Presbyterian Church in the Ballymena  Presbytery where I worked for a further 21 years.  As you can imagine, with a life time of work with the church, you meet a lot of people - we were blessed to meet and become friends with so many wonderful people.  Technology has helped us keep in touch and stay close, though the distances are great.

He added, “My daughter Eileen lives nearby so I am lucky we see each other almost every day.  My son Gordon emigrated to Canada where he lives with his family.   We Skype every Saturday - it’s great that we can keep in touch like this.   I can see him, he can see me and we talk about our week, the family, the news, everything.   It’s not the same as being together but we are able to remain a close thanks to technology. I also have a nephew and niece in New Zealand who I keep in touch with through Skype. 

“Through Dean’s Crooks Fold and Supporting Communities, I did an IPad class.   It is an amazing piece of equipment but I find using my lap top much easier as I am used to the keyboard and the bigger screen.   I read the newspapers every day and respond to emails from friends and family and I love the internet, I love Google, and searching online.   This has helped keep my mind active.

When asked what he credits for his longevity, Joe is quick to respond.   He says, “I became a Christian when I was 16.   I could have taken another path, a wrong path, but this helped me.   My wife Margaret and I had a long and happy marriage, 63 years, and we had two beautiful children.   I have had a good life. I had God’s guidance and peace in my heart.   I have tried to live one day at a time and not to worry too much.” 

Joe will be celebrating his 100th birthday with not one, but four, parties: one with his missionary family, one with his friends in the Ballymena area, one with Newtownbreda Presbyterian Church where he helped out following retirement and one with his family, friends and  neighbours at Radius Housings’ Dean Crooks Fold, Upper Newtownards Road. This will be followed by a meal with family including son Gordon and daughter Eileen.  

Please visit our facebook page at to see a selection of photos from Joe''s celebration at Dean Crooks.


Related Categories: