The Parish Christmas Tree

 

The idea of putting Christmas lights on a tree in the old graveyard began around 2005.

While standing praying at my parents grave one day, I noticed a pine tree growing in the old graveyard which had a very good symmetrical shape. I wondered about the idea of putting Christmas lights on it and so approached Fr Brian O'Donnell PP Lavey at that time. He agreed.

Electrician Donal O'Kane acquired a bulb system of coloured lights and assisted by Damian McCloy began placing the lights on the tree. Martin Duggan who just happened to be passing by driving a JCB extending shovel, stopped and assisted the final stage by lifting the electricians to the top of the tree in the front bucket of his JCB. A lighted star purchased by Pauline OKane was placed at the top.

Electricity using simple extension leads was brought from the Parochial house and so began the tradition of the Parish Christmas Tree on the 14th December 2005.

 

 

 

M Duggan loadall jcb

 

Fr Brian O'Donnell PP and Harry Joe Magee at the switching on of the first Parish Christmas Tree Lights 17th December 2005.

 

Who planted the Parish Christmas tree?

During the 1980s, Fr P Regan PP Lavey, with the assistance of local parishioners, mainly Fran and Mickey Magill, cleared an overgrown area of the 'Old Graveyard'. Fr Regan was supposed to have asked people to bring flowers and shrubs to be planted there and one contributor, Harry Joe Magee apparently brought and planted what now is known as the Parish Christmas tree. 

The photo (1980s) below shows men making a path and clearing the area where the christmas tree now grows. John Magill is using the shovel, Mickey Magill is pushing/pulling a  wheelbarrow.

Fr Regan PP had also employed steeplejacks at that time, to repair the chapel roof ridge tiles and slates. I went up to take some pictures from the roof. This is one of the steeplejacks watching that I dont fall. No drones at that time.

 

The photo below shows the planned shrubbery garden to the lower right of this old picture taken by me from the roof of the chapel. Edward Henry's headstone is just to the left of the shrubbery area. Parishioners might be interested to know that the Logan headstone, along the old graveyard back stonewall has mysteriously disappeared since. The flagstones stored on the carpark were used to make new paths in the graveyards. Photo 1980s, unclear if anything planted in shrubbery area.

 Aerial photo below taken from an aeroplane now shows shrubbery area in full bloom. It seemed very nice with plenty of variety. Where is that Christmas tree ? The Grotto had not yet been built. Photo date unknown.

 

 

The two photos below are drone views of the christmas tree area during 2020. The original shrubbery has all but disappeared - The Christmas tree is now at least 12 metres tall and it  requires a huge cherrypicker to put lighting on it.

Lighting the Parish Christmas Tree down the years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

22 nov 2013 crowd

2021

 

Fr Graham with team Lavey Christmas Tree December 2021.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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