Last Update - 06 February 2013
The people from the past represent those characters now no longer with us who made Newtownards what it is today, they were the serious ones,the strugglers,the heroes and also in many cases the clowns but all deserve a mention. Page 2 and on includes James McMeekan, Jim McMeekan, Maggie Berry, Mr and Mrs. Joe Blake, Watson "Watti" Weir, John Johnston and many more to follow...
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One of the first members of the Communist Party of Ireland, Menzies joined the Revolutionary Workers Groups in the early 1930s and was involved in the Outdoor Relief struggle. He was prominent as a leader of the squatters? movement in Northern Ireland after the war.
An enthusiastic supporter of the Daily Worker, he delivered 100 copies a day by carrier bicycle to the Shorts aircraft factory in Belfast from the small newsagents? shop he set up with compensation money from a factory accident.
His daughter, Edwina, one of five daughters he and his wife Sadie Newell, from Newtownards, had married Jimmy Stewart, General Secretary for a long time of the Communist Party of Ireland. Menzies died aged 82 in 1993.
Morning Star February
Sam Porter Millar
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Henry Bournes Higgins
Born - 30th. June 1851 in Newtownards and moved to Dromana,Victoria, Australia where he died on 13th. January 1929
Occupation(s) - Methodist Minister also Barrister, High Court Judge, Industrial Arbitrator/Consiliator, Member of the Australian Lower House.
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Yet as late as the 1880's things were not so straightforward. The Orange Order was still very much a self identified Irish cultural-political organisation. When on 12 July 1867 a 30,000 strong parade Orange Order parade from Newtownards to Bangor took place the Belfast Newsletter reported that they marched "without interruption save the cead mille failtes' of hosts of sympathisers".(3) This use of the Irish language by loyalists was to fade as the Irish nationalists sought to solidify the nationalist political agenda through a cultural revival which laid claim to the Irish language. The unionist Ulster Convention of 1892 would be the last time the slogan "Erin-go-Bragh"(4) would be on display.
Was the owmer of the Ulster Tapestry Company in Newtownards and the constructor of 2 prototype jet powered racing cars in 1956/57 based upon formula 3 chassis. The first was a pulsejet which was shown to be too dangerous to race owing to the large flames belching from its exhaust so a SNECMA gas turbine was used in the second prototype which he wryly name "The Slug". Neither were successful although they were a curiousity to many motor race fans. Jim later emigrated to new Zealand where i hear at least one of his cars survives in a museum
Early Tokens from
John McCully was a
late 18th. century brewer of Newtownards
See also "Happenings 1782"