A former Dromore man has paid tribute to his late mother as he presented a trophy in her name at the weekend’s Lisburn and Castlereagh City Pipe Band and Drum Major Championships in Moira.
The trophy, commemorating Mary Emily Kelly (nee Harvey) went to Senior Grade Drum Major winner Lauren Hanna of Drumlough Pipe Band.
Mary’s son John, an Honorary Vice-President of the Royal Scottish Pipe Bands Association NI, wasted no time securing the first place Senior Grade shield in honour of his mother after it was announced that 16 new perpetual shields could be bought in memory of a loved one.
The trophies were awarded to the first four placed winners in each of the Drum Major grades - Novice, Junior, Juvenile and Senior.
John said of his mother: “Seventh of a family of 12, Mary Emily was born in 1912 and grew up at Holm Terrace, Dromore.
“As a young teenager she went to work as a weaver in the nearby Holm Factory, which involved standing all day at a noisy loom.
“She often spoke about how, after a hard day’s work, neighbours living at the Holm Terrace used to gather in summer evenings to sit and chat. In those bygone days of no television, mobile phones, internet or Wi-Fi people actually used to ‘talk’.”
After marrying Andrew Kelly, Mary Emily moved to Ashfield and later to Mackey’s Lane (Ballaney) where John, the youngest of her family of four, was born and reared.
In 1964 the family moved to Barban Hill and, when Andrew died in April, 1984, Mary Emily moved to the Beeches, off Gallows Street.
She passed away on 3 July 1990, aged 78 years.
John said that he was particularly pleased to see the Senior Grade Drum Major shield being presented in memory of his late mother.