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Te Ards in the Seventies

Troubles. His father William, from Donaghadee Road, Newtownards, was also associated

with local bus services for many years. Te eldest of five children, Sam was survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter, as well as a wide family circle. He was a mem- ber of Newtownards Methodist Church, where the largely-attended funeral was held on 17 June. Interment followed at Movilla Cemetery.

A month after the Council elections voters returned to the polls (on 28 June) to return candidates to the new Northern Ireland Assembly. North Down returned eight members, including Unionist Major William Brownlow (Portaferry) and Lord Dunleath (Alliance). Easily topping the poll was sitting North Down MP Jim Kilfedder with 20,684 votes. He resided near Millisle.

Miss Clara Rigby retired from her position as Church of Ireland organist in Portaferry at the end of June, having played for a period of 63 years under a total of seven different rectors.

Te Newtownards Chronicle hit the headlines in its own right on 19 July, when the paper celebrated its own centenary. Pride of place was given to a message from Secretary of State William Whitelaw, who stated:

“Any newspaper with such an outstanding record of service to the public as that which can be claimed by the Newtownards Chronicle, has every right to take pride in celebrating such a notable occasion.”

“As the paper moves into its second century and the challenges that must bring, my wish is that the news it will have to record will be in headlines that tell of steady continuous progress towards peace and prosperity for all the people of Northern Ireland.”

Te longest-serving member of staff, Mrs Isabella Murphy, was accorded the hon- our of pressing the button to commence the printing of the centenary edition. Te first editor of the Chronicle was James W. McNinch; a century later the post was held by his grandson, Robert McNinch.

Among the 50 victims of the Summerland entertainment centre fire on the Isle of Man on 2 August was 30-year-old factory worker Wilbert Scott, from Scrabo Road, Newtownards. He was on holiday with his fiancée, who sustained severe burns to her back and legs. Eight members of the Boys’ Brigade Company attached to the Methodist Church in Newtownards were in the centre when the fire broke out. All managed to escape without injury.


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