Ulster Premier greets Philadelphia’s Scotch-Irish (1958)
The Minister of Finance (Captain Terence O’Neill), who was guest of honour at a luncheon in Philadelphia during this week in October 1958 in connection with the Scotch-Irish Society of Pennsylvania, read a message from the Prime Minister (Lord Brookeborough).
“The Scotch-Irish Society of Pennsylvania occupies a special place in my affections,” Lord Brookeborough said, “and I am very pleased to have this opportunity of extending to you my greetings and best wishes.
“It is an added pleasure that this message should be delivered to you by a senior colleague in the Government of Northern Ireland, one who shares with me a deep pride in the achievements of those early pioneers who did so much to help in the development of the nation which is now the United States of America.
“The Scotch-Irish of America and the Ulster-Scots of Northern Ireland share a common pride of ancestry,” the message went on. “We are descended from the same hardy stock, and therefore, we take a keen interest in your activities, and are proud to maintain the close bond of fellowship which has existed over the years between our peoples.
“It is my sincere hope that that bond will continue to flourish and grow and that the years ahead will be full of promise and prosperity for the Scotch-Irish Society of Pennsylvania.”
Captain O’Neill ended his North American tour with a visit to the United Nations Organisation before flying back to Northern Ireland from New York.
200 at Victoria College centenary dinner
Nearly 200 members of Victoria College Old Girls’ Association attended a centenary dinner held during this week in 1958 in Woodbourne House.
Mrs G I A Faris, a former principal and president of the association, who was in the chair, welcomed the guests, Professor F E Moran and Miss G E Holloway.
Mrs Faris said that in celebrating the centenary of Victoria College they were in fact celebrating Mrs Byers’ pioneer work in women’s education in Ireland. She welcomed all the old girls and in particular she took pleasure in welcoming some girls whom she remembered as seniors when she herself was a little girl at school, among them Melissa Hull, formerly professor of English at the University in Rio de Janeiro.
Proposing the toast to the the school, Professor Moran, Regius Professor of Law at Trinity College, Dublin, said that “the ever-increasing devaluation of moral and ethical values attacked to a large extent the spiritual bases of society”.
She said: “Nevertheless, on foundations well and truly laid by Mrs Byers, her successors have improved and extended the reputation of the school not only here but across the seas.”
“I adhere strongly to the principles which were the foundations of this school, the solid branches of learning and moral and religious training.”
She added: “Civics and woodwork are no substitute for the teaching of reading, writing, spelling and the meaning of integrity and honour.”
Professor Moran said that she believed that the most important part of the tradition of the school was carried out by the mothers, wives, and teachers who “lived out the principles they had been taught and by their influence upon their children preserved the continuing faith and hope of mankind”.
In her reply on behalf of the school, Miss M W Cunningham, headmistress, spoke of the present day work and plans of the school and in particular of the pride they had in the new lab block which was going up in the Crescent and the gift from the Old Girls’ Association of a new all-weather playing field at Drumglass.
Miss M. E Moore, warden of Stranmillis Training College, proposed the health of the guests.
She referred to the ties binding Alexandra College, Dublin, with Victoria College and to those with Trinity College, Dublin.
She said: “Professor Moran has always been a good friend of Belfast, and just as Trinity had honoured Mrs Byers, it had pleased us all that Queen’s University had similarly honoured Professor Moran.
Newry town surveyor retires at age of 82
The Newry town surveyor, 82-year-old Mr Charles Blaney, had resigned his post at a meeting of meeting of the Urban Council which was held this week in 1958.
Mr Blaney, a native of Co Donegal, went to Newry from the City Surveyor’s office, Belfast, in 1902.
Mr G Cronin, town clerk, was visibly moved as he paid tribute to his retiring colleague.
“It is not infrequently that one hears criticisms of the actions of councils of former years, and perhaps these are justified from time to time,” said Mr Cronin, “but I am sure that all will agree that those members of the Urban District Council of Newry who met in this room on October 6, 1902, and appointed Mr Charles Blaney to the position of town surveyor must be remembered, for the wisdom of their decision on that occasion.”
The chairman, Mr T Kelly, the vice chairman, and other members and officials joined in the tribute.
Eire newspaper criticises Sinn Fein action
“The cause of Irish unity has been badly served by Sinn Fein,” stated the Cork Examiner in an editorial it published commenting on the general election and the failure of Sinn Fein to get one of its 12 candidates returned to Parliament.
“There is tragedy and bitterness in this sorry outcome,” says this newspaper noted for its “staunch Nationalist leanings”.
“By the loss of at least four constituencies where the Nationalists were in the majority 500,000 people have been left without a representative and all there is to show for it is seven forfeited deposits of £150 each.”