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Article from the Grange Parish Book suggested for reading this week (week 20)


A Window to the Past through The Vale Star

This week (week 20) the suggested article from the Grange Parish Book is a compilation by Seamus Hourigan of 'Grange News' items from the archives of The Vale Star. Having trawled through archived issues of the newspaper held in Newcastle West, Seamus selected a number of extracts for his compendium. The selected pieces bring back memories of people, places and events and, of course, remind us of two great Grange contributors to the newspaper who are deceased - Michael Lombard and Nora Hourigan. The lives of Michael and Nora are celebrated in specific articles in the book - these articles will be suggested for reading in due course. The selections made by Seamus include a mixture of news at the times, views on life, advice and information. The marvellous writing styles of the Grange contributors to the newspaper as well as their wide knowledge on an array of subject matters contributed hugely to the popularity and successes of their columns. While much of their writings were about serious life matters, the scribes entertained their readerships as well. Several of the pieces chosen by Seamus are high in entertainment value.

The following are extracts from the book article, A Window to the Past:

"The Vale Star has been an important source of news, information, consolation, support, congratulations, advice and entertainment for Grange people over a very long period. Variously, news items across the spectrum from great joy to deep sorrow have been reported, always with the utmost sensitivity and respect. The 'Garden' item, the lead in each bulletin, came to be regarded as the hallmark of wonderful writing over the years. The 'Grange Notes' have been characterised by wisdom, humour, philosophical commentary on matters of human interest, sincere concern for people, humility and honesty on the part of the scribes." [Introduction by Seamus].

"The New Year – Fresh Hope (11-01-96)

There is an element of mystery in coming to the end of one of our years on the pilgrim journey. Many of our dear ones have gone to eternity. We now cross a bridge as we say farewell to the year that has gone. We enter the uncharted parts of 1996 as we reach for the gift of this New Year. Many have heard the welcoming bells for the last time. Each new morning is a resurrection. After the darkness of the night and after our restoring sleep, there is always wonder in rising to the gift of a new day. This sense of awe is much greater, 'when out of darkness colour breaks' and the morning ushers in a strange new year. We rise to a song of hope. For the Christian, even amid darkness and near despair, the note of hope forever sounds at once, joy-filled, healing and serene. We lift up our hearts. We give thanks to the Lord our God." [By Michael Lombard]

"Letters (18-01-06)

The school visitor found one boy in a room by himself, evidently in trouble. 'What’s the matter my boy', he inquired. 'Palpitations and insomnia, sir.' 'But you can’t be suffering from these things!' 'It isn’t suffering, sir, it’s spelling!'." [by Michael Lombard]

"No Danger (22-02-96)

The cashier was paying a very junior employee his wages. 'These notes are a bit grubby', he said. 'I hope you’re not worried about microbes.' 'Oh not at all, not even microbes could live on the money I get'." [By Michael Lombard]

"Judge (21-03-96)

The Judge asked the man 'Have you ever been cross-examined before?' He answered 'O yes your honour, I’m a married man'." [By Michael Lombard]

"Road Rage (26-09-96)

Drivers who fall victim to the increasing incidence of road rage have been advised to put up with it. Those who flash headlights, shake their fists or get out of their car to kick everything in sight are best ignored. The AA spokesman, Conor Faughnan, told us that complaints about such incidents have soared. Don’t react he said and flash your lights for it could then develop into a dangerous situation. Road rage has tended to increase with growth in traffic volumes covering the whole spectrum of human behaviour, from flashing lights to assault or murder – as happened recently in Britain. Stay cool and ignore." [By Michael Lombard]

"News Flash (21-05-98)

Hundreds of stray dogs disappeared yesterday. Gardai say they have no leads. Thieves stole a van containing bottles of hair restorer. Gardai are now combing the area. A lorry containing onions has shed its load on the Naas dual carriageway. Motorists are advised to find a hard shoulder to cry on." [By Michael Lombard]

"Michael Lombard, 1923-1999 (13-05-99)

The Vale Star will shine less brightly now because of the passing to his eternal reward of one of its most prolific writers, Michael Lombard, the Grange correspondent.

Like all the other hard-working, selfless area contributors, the humble and brave Michael proclaimed and recorded all the activities and achievements of the people of his adopted Grange, today’s news, tomorrow’s history, for the glory of God and his parish.

The hallmarks of Michael’s writing were, gleaning words of wisdom…the love of God and gardening…wishes of good health to all the sick and peace in Heaven to all the dead…as well as praise and encouragement to all who deserved it…and his appreciation and love of nature.

May this gentleman now till the Master’s Garden. Thanks, Michael, and may God comfort your wife Margaret, your daughter Catherine, son Pat and their families. MTH." [By Vale Star Editor]

"Cork Hurlers (16-09-99)

Congratulations to the Cork hurling team who won the All-Ireland hurling final in Croke Park on Sunday last, defeating Kilkenny by the narrowest of margins, and in so doing won their 28th title." [Nora Hourigan never missed an opportunity to support her native county!]

"The Birth of Triplets (21-12-99)

We offer our heartiest congratulations to Gerard O’Connell, formerly of Grange and his wife Kay of Ballinagarde, Ballyneety who recently became the proud parents of triplets, two girls and a boy whom they named Ciara, Anna and Jack. We understand that mother and babies are all doing very well. Well done to Gerard and Kay. All your very many friends in Grange send you their very best wishes on the arrival of your three bundles of joy." [By Nora Hourigan]

"Not-So-Young-Group (21-12-99)

'The Not-So-Young-Group' from Grange and surrounding areas had a great week being entertained. Firstly, on Tuesday of last week they received a delicious Christmas Dinner at O’Faolains Restaurant in Bruff, and then on Friday night, they attended the annual Christmas Party hosted by Nagles Eurospar and staff in the Bandroom, where they were again treated to a delicious meal, which was followed by a great night’s dancing and a singsong. They would like to express to O’Faolains and Nagles and staff their very sincere thanks for their generosity to the big crowds who attended both functions and which were thoroughly enjoyed by all." [by Nora Hourigan].

The article, A Window to the Past, may be read in full HERE.

Next week (week 21) we will suggest another article for reading.

Kind Regards to All.

#TheValeStar #MichaelLombard #NoraHourigan #GrangeNewsNotes #SeamusHourigan