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Batchelor Boys

F29th February 2000.9th Feb

 

 

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Failte, and welcome to Kiely's Comments, the first on my own home page.

Well, all u County Waterford toyboys out there. Did she ask u? Did she pop the question? Did she ask u 'to be or not to be,'her full time hubby?

To walk her down the isle, to take her for better or worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness or in healthcare, till death or divorce do ye part?

Well if she didn't (lucky girl) its only another 4 years 'till again, she can do the leaping first, and you can say, Yes,Yes,Yessssss.... I do! I do! I do!

February 29th,once ignored by government civil servants who simply leapt over the day as if it didn’t exist,refusing to date official documents with this date, was once seen as the only day that women, once insensitively described as 'Old Maids,' could say...

'Will you?' to a man they fancied something wicked,and not feel their cheeks out-blush their own rouge....

Talking of rouge, did you know that some cosmetics, moisturisers and face creams are made from animal by-products, and even human placenta?

It has recently been revealed that some the ingredients used in the manufacture of certain cosmetics made in England have come from animals possibly suffering from CJD.

CJD, also known as mad cow disease,is a horrific disease which is now beginning to infect the human population. It effects the nervous system and brain, eventually leading to death.

So next time your tempted to rub in the old moisturisers or suntan cream boys and girls, think twice, and first try and find out what its made from!

St. MichaelsNow that Christmas has gone, the fireworks are spent, the party hats are put away for another year, and the biggest countdown in history has passed into the record books for many, another countdown is about to begin, the countdown to the annual summer holiday.

As we enter the season of the holiday brochure, many people will soon checking out which exotic destination they should head for in the summer to escape from the daily routine.

For those abroad or across the sea the thought of returning home may be their dream...and of course in the Ireland of one’s dreams it never rains.

But how many people would consider booking a week or a fortnight’s holiday to stay in their old orphanage?

Patrick MaddoxWell a few months back Kiely met one such man, Patrick Maddox, now living in Bromsgrove, England, who has done just that not once, but three times.

Many older folk have quite vivid memories of their first holiday, and especially their first train journey.

Those old enough to remember the bygone age of the steam train, will recall the sooty smell, the enormous size of the engine, the gigantic large wheels, the overwhelming sense of power.

Patrick who was born in Dungarvan, can still clearly remember his first train ride 64 years ago, and here explains why he remembers it so vividly.

Old station‘One of my earliest memories I have from the age of three was helping my mother Anastasia’s to pack a case with some of my things for my first train journey.

I can still see her sad, worried face as we walked to the nearby Dungarvan train station, but soon forgot this when I saw the big steam locomotive and I remember being lifted up the steps into the carriage, and hearing the whistle blow just before we moved off, but the destination was not to be the seaside or a holiday town, but St. Michael’s Orphanage, Cappoquin, where I was to spend the next six years.’

‘When we arrived in Cappoquin I was handed over to a Garda,(Police officer)like a little criminal, my only crime being that I was the child of a woman who was not married.’

‘As I was led the hundred or so yards to the door of the orphanage I cried and cried, and I will never forget my feeling of helplessness.

As my mother disappeared out of sight that day, she also disappeared out of most of my childhood years.’

‘What happened during the next three years remains a blur, but I do remember my Mam arriving one Easter day out of the blue, to see me, when I was about six years old and bringing me an Easter egg and a present of a football, it was only then that I began to realise that I had a mother.

I did not see her again though until I was 12 years old and by then there seemed to be a barrier there between us.’

‘ You know, I can never remember being hugged or kissed as a child,’ remarked Patrick, the glisten of a tear showing in his eyes as we chatted in the dining room

Big change

(which was once the classroom) of the comfortable and tastefully refurbished and converted orphanage which is now the popular Riverview Guest House, where Patrick Maddox had been staying for a week with his lifelong friend from England, Harold Sivell whose wife died last year.

‘Odd little incidents stand out in my memory, about living in the orphanage, things like the Friday ritual where in this room where we are sitting now, you had a gallery in that corner and every month, the orphans had to stand in front of the Mother Superior and two other nuns who were seated on either side of her, behind a table.’

‘They would check your behaviour record over the previous month.

If you had obeyed all the rules, etc you were given an old penny and sometimes even more, as a reward, but if you had been naughty you might get a half penny or no money at all.

‘In the 1930's you could buy a lot off sweets with even a farthing, which was a quarter of the value of an old penny, so we had good reason to try and behave ourselves.

I also remember one year receiving a wooden spinning top as a Christmas present. When I was about eight I used to help a Sister Finbar wash the potatoes and she used to give me little cakes and snacks as a reward which made me very happy.

‘I don’t recall any real cruelty or anything like that from any of the teachers or nuns here in Cappoquin, but discipline was much harder in those days anyway, so you would expect to get a slap if you misbehaved.

I only remember getting a slap once when I was wrongly accused of leaving the storeroom open.

However when I was nine in 1942 I was moved to a reformatory school in Cork run by the Christian Brothers.’

‘I did resent that, because they had no reason to send me there.'

'That was a very strict place where discipline was over-enforced. I felt great resentment for being sent to this place of punishment without due cause, because in the nearby orphanage where I should have been, they were allowed out to the cinema and had other treats.'

I remember I joined the reformatory band, which allowed me more freedom than a lot of the boys there, as we used to visit other places to play our music.’

‘Mind you, having said that about the strict discipline, I have never been in trouble with the law in all my life so they must have taught us something, even if they were too strict!’

‘The first holiday I had was when I was thirteen. I went to stay with an aunt in who lived in Waterford, and the train fare was five shillings.'

'My aunt’s house was overcrowded and I was overwhelmed. You know, I was actually glad to get back to Cork.’

‘At fourteen my Mam called to see me to tell me that she was going to marry a disabled man called Mr Paddy Phelan who came from Dunmore East, and said she had come to take me out of the reformatory.'

'My step dad was a lovely kind man and I spent my final year at school in an ordinary school in the village.’

After I finished school I answered an advertisement in the newspaper and went to England to work as a barman paying 5 pounds a week all found.'

'Later took lodgings with the Bissell family in Bromsgrove and got a job on the buildings. One day I saw my future wife Pauline who was a best friend of Jill Bissell, pass my window to visit a neighbour.'

'She was sixteen and I was nineteen it was love at first sight.’

‘From then on my life changed, I decided to stay in Bromsgrove, and eventually got a job at Austin’s Car factory.

@I retired last year after 39 years with the company. They gave me a clock and a choice of car at a reduced price at a leaving presentation.'

'My sweet wife who gave me so much love in my life, sadly died of cancer in 1996 after forty two years of happy marriage together, and I donated some electric bells to my local church where I have been a Sacristan for many years, in her memory.

‘I have a half brother who lives in Birmingham,(England). I regret not having been able to get closer to my Mam before she died.'

'She was killed on a crossing last year at the age of 83 I also regret not being able to find out the identity of my dad, but she was always very secretive about him when I asked and there was so much disgrace back then if an unmarried woman got pregnant, that you would think it was the worst of the seven deadly sins.’

‘And as for staying at the Riverview Guest House, when I visit Ireland on holiday, its like coming home.'

'The service and the food provided by Mrs Flynn the Proprietor is certainly much better than I remember it as a child, when I stayed here as a different kind of guest!’

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Cheque Presentation.

Lismore groupPhoto of group.l TO R. Patricia 'Wishy' Martin,(Lismore Arts) Tim Hegarty and Mary Fenton-Morrissey,(St Carthages) Claire Chavasse,(Lismore Arts) Jo Murphy, (St Carthages).

Patricia ‘Wishy‘ Martin and Claire Chavasse from Lismore Arts Centre, Drumroe, Cappoquin recently raised over 600 pounds in donations from visitors to an art exhibition of work by both students and professional artists which was held recently in their studio in Drumroe..

The money was handed over to Mary Fenton Morrissey (Admin Secretary) Jo Murphy,(Supervisor) and Tim Hegarty from the board of management who gratefully accepted the cheque on behalf of St Carthage’s committee.

‘This is the second year that Lismore Arts Centre, who as well as art exhibitions, also run classes and weekend courses for aspiring artists who travel from a wide area to attend, have helped local charities.

‘Last year the money we collected was divided equally between Cappoquin Day Centre and St Carthage’s Home’ Wishy Martin said.

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Send Kiely a Postcard!

I know emails are quick and to write and send, and i love receiving them from you all, but I want to ask you all a favour.

Could send me a picture postcard of where you live and tell me a little about yourselves and how long u have been reading W&CW and please dont forget the address. I know it takes a little extra effort to toddle of down to the post box and buy a stamp,but i would really appreciate it, if you do.

Go on, give my local postman Fergal a shock and a heavy sack!

Postie !Send your postcard to:

Pat Kiely,

Ballyrafter Cottage,

Lismore,

County Waterford,

EIRE. (No zip or postcode needed)

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Quiz 2000.

Photo: Kieran O'Sullivan,Emily Goodbody, Kelly Marie Kearns,Stephen O'Brien.

Just 4 of the 50 or more lively young people from Cappoquin, Lismore,Villierstown, and other schools in in the County Waterford area who took part in the recent Lismore and Cappoquin Credit Union School Quiz.

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Emails.

Hi to Jimmie Howlet who says, 'I was just recently introduced to your Newsletter through a fellow immigrant from Lismore. My name is Jimmie Howlett and my wife (Norrie)and I and the three children spent a few precious years in Lismore in the 50's I was Stationmaster there from 1956 to 1958 and transferred to Sligo from there and eventually to Waterford from where we emigrated to the States in 1960.'

Jimmie goes on to say, 'The few years we spent in Lismore were some of the best in our lives and we would like to be remembered to all of the many friends we were priveliged to make in Lismore.'

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'Mossy Hyland, and his wife Cassiefondly remembered.... Bon Voyage.....on tranquil seas.'

Thank you Mr Pat this be me..Pat Williams.

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A lady called Robin in Annapolis, USA wrote to say, 'Pat,

I enjoy your newsletter very much each week, My husband Steve has sent you e-mail before about how it helps me get through some lonely times here in the states. My family has been gone from Ireland for many years. '

Robin goes on to say she lives near a nun called Sr Ivana in her 90s, the sister of the late Moss Troy whose brother's story was featured in this and my newspaper column last December.

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Hello James Conlon,
'I thought I might say hello to my native city, and neighbouring Tramore, from Nashville, Tennessee. I heard recently that Sallypark, across the bridge, is being laid waste for a dual carriageway.

I spent my earlier years there and have happy memories of the place. If I heard correctly, I guessthis is the price of progress.

My family moved to the Cork Road when I was about 10 years old. My brothers, Joe and Tommy, were quite good at the hurling (for Mount Sion and Waterford). My forte was the guitar. We have a lot of them here in Tennessee.

A little over a year ago, I met the whole Shebang here in Nashville. They were a big success and seemed pleased to see me. Y'all take care now!!...James Conlon...... (We will indeed James.)

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Hello, to Mary O'Dowd in Melbourne, Australia who has not been well lately, also to Susan Finlayson in Canada. Sorry to hear u had to have your pet called Welli put to sleep after being together,16 years 10 months and 2 weeks.

and finally,

Many of you have been following the Colonel's search for his beloved, Cindy over the months since last year,after she stopped writing to him, and said she was going to ireland.

Colonel Frank from Florida left no stone unturned in his search for his true love Cindy,and has written to say he has finally found out what has happened to her.

It seems that his poor Cindy died last November aged only 22 from cancer. Our deepest sympathy to Colonel Frank in his sadness. If you would like to send any messages to him I will pass them on.

and finally, Thanks to all those not mentioned, who wrote during the last week.

Thanks once again to all who subscribed (But remember you must go on-line to see the photos)

See 'ya all next week. God bless, Pat

Se ya all next week,

God Bless, ......................Pat.

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COPYRIGHT 1999-2000 All written work and images are copyright Pat Kiely........Lismore...Ireland. email patkiely@eircom.net