Christy’s Service to the Community
In times past if anybody or any local organization in Oughterard needed somebody to do an important job like collecting money at gates, doors chapel yards etc., the name Christy Ward was the first one to come to mind. For many, many years he was a regular collector at GAA gates – hail, rain or shine, always on duty, health permitting.
“Show Day” Duties
The Show Society, too, owe him a thought for his years of service to it, both as a collector and for the Trojan work he did for me in O’ Sullivan’s Hall and later in the Community Centre on “Show Day”. He was one of four “ good and faithful servants” – Jim and Bridie Stewart, Mrs Mary Kelly, Derrymoyle and Christy who assisted me for many years when he left stewarding in Lemonfield and moved to O Sullivan’s Hall some 29 years ago. He was my chief security-officer, in addition to all the other laborious activities he busied himself with on our behalf. (There was no protective barrier in the hall and the cakes, crafts and fruit etc. were very tempting morsels to youngsters with healthy appetites. Christy had a commanding “sergeant major” type voice when required, which put the wind up any possible offenders!
Christy’s true character
He had a craggy face which belied his true character, but tell him a good yarn and his face would light up and break into a broad, almost child-like smile which changed his personality completely, revealing the inner man: a kind, considerate, friendly, sincere and gentle man.
I knew Christy from babyhood in Clareville. I lived only a few doors away. His parents were Martin and Mary and they lived in a small thatched cottage where their family of five, four boys and a girl were born. They both worked locally, Mary in part-time domestic jobs and Martin mainly in pubs. He was shy as was Christy – but after a few jars he became very friendly and wanted to talk to people in his very soft and gentle voice. If you were a person who had befriended him in any small way, he was profuse in his thanks and he never forgot a favour while he lived. His sincerity, honesty and genuine feeling for his fellow man was very moving.
A favourite expression of his was – “Forever Grateful”.
No wonder Christy behaved like his parents – he had their genes.
Christy – The Soldier
During the ‘emergency”(last great war) he joined the LDF as soon as he was old enough and was an exemplary soldier, who qualified like the rest of us who served, for his Service Medal. He loved the discipline, comradeship of people with a common cause.
Christy – Dedicated Public Servant
He assisted at church gate collections and he was a very familiar face at the Community Centre door or office window for plays, concerts, dances or whatever function required his services, and he never was happier than when he was wholeheartedly and unselfishly serving the community. His whole life indeed, was dedicated to giving his services wherever needed. His name was synonymous with co-operation, reliability, honesty, and integrity in whatever he did and wherever he served.
This dedication often deprived him of seeing, hearing and enjoying the very function he served.
Christy departed life on December 7th 1990.
Go ndéanfaidh Dia trocaire ar a anam dhilis.
(Oughterard Newsletter June 1995)
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