Fireworks, 70ís and Electricity in Donaghadee.
Resulting from the driving force and dynamic leadership of President Mark Brooks it has been an active few days for the members of Donaghadee Rotary Club.
The club members donned their welly boots, reflective jackets and dusted down their high-powered torches to act as stewards at Donaghadee Primary Schools annual Halloween firework display.
The club members, partners and guests let their hair down (and those who have none wore wigs) at a 70ís night in Bow Bells. All the fashion trends of the decade from flower power, bovver boys, wide lapelled flared disco dancers to mini-skirts were represented (and that was only the men).
President Mark ably assisted by Sue Irwin and Anne Jones hosted a Bridge Evening at Bow Bells, which raised over £200 for charity.
At the clubs weekly meeting the members were enthralled by a talk given by the Humphreys (a local family) on how electricity was brought to Donaghadee in the 20ís.
Hazel McAllister explained that her grandfather Frank Humphreys a native of Co Leitrim with a wife and at that time 6 children were forced owing to the troubles to leave and set up home in Bath, Loughgall and finally Donaghadee.
Ian Humphreys then took up the story with the use of a PowerPoint presentation, which included old photographs. Harry Humphreys his uncle was on hand to identify some of the local people in the photographs.
In the 1920ís it was costing the local Donaghadee council between £300-£400 for gas to light the town streets. The council advertised for tenders to light the main thoroughfares from 15th August to 15th April each year, using electricity.
Frank Humphreys with the help of his two brothers who were already involved in generating electricity elsewhere submitted the only tender.
Frank was aware of the market potential for an all year supply to domestic and commercial customers.
He used Direct Current Generators (Dynamos) powered initially by 2 diesel engines. The generating house was situated between East St and Castle St and measured 40ft by 60ft. Ian explained in great but understandable detail the technicalities of the system and the power required and that which was produced.
The system was inaugurated on 22.9.1927. It remained in operation until 1931 when the government shut down province wide small uneconomic generators and an integrated system was introduced.
Ian then described how electricity for Donaghadee is generated and distributed today.
Rotarian Billy Hamilton thanked the Humphreys family in a burst of eloquence, which marked him as a master punster.
President Mark then mentioned two significant birthdays,
Honorary Member John Stevenson who has now received a free television licence and Hon Secretary Robert McIlveen who now despite his youthful appearance qualifies for free prescriptions. Les Jones read out a letter which rather tongue in cheek invited Robert to join Probus.
The members of Alternate Rotary looking resplendent in their black ties and dinner jackets attended Groomsport Football Clubís Sportsman Dinner. At the time of going to press no misdemeanours have been reported.
Saturday 6.11.06. and Sunday 7.11.06.
The members ambushed unsuspecting shoppers at B&Q Holywood and endeavoured to relieve them off their hard earned money in exchange for car ballot tickets in the name of Rotary. The club would like to thank the management of B&Q and all who donated to this worthy cause.