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1973


A new South Ards Community Association was formed in mid-August following a meeting in Kircubbin. Te aim of the body, jointly chaired by Ernest Elliott (Portaferry) and James Smyth (Cloughey), was to seek better facilities for all the people of the South Ards area.


Ruth Patterson, from Lough Shore Road, Portaferry, became the town’s first-ever female preacher in August when she spoke in the local Presbyterian Church, where her father, the Rev. Tomas Patterson, was the recently-installed minister.


Te formation of a new company in Newtownards, B & J Jupiter Cruisers Ltd., was announced at the beginning of September with the promise that 130 jobs were in the pipeline. Te company would manufacture fibre glass-hulled luxury cabin cruisers to an established Danish design.


Maurice Spence (25), from Dermott Park, Comber, was found shot dead in his car on a lonely road at Glenwherry, 10 miles from Ballymena, on 15 September. He was a self-employed road haulier and his wife was expecting a child. He had moved to Comber two years earlier. No motive could be established for the murder.


Plans for an ‘ultra-modern’ recreation centre for Donaghadee, costing in excess of £1m, were approved in principle at one of the last meetings of the town’s Urban District Council. Councillors agreed to forward the plans to the Ministry of Education for funding approval when they met at the end of September. Te recreation centre – comprising a multi-purpose sports hall, swimming pools, function hall for concerts, lectures, etc., a minor hall, squash courts, viewing lounges and a restau- rant – was envisaged for the site of the existing bus station (to the south-east of the harbour, between it and the quarry hole). It would be reached by a new road linking the seafront/ Lemon’s Wharf to Te Commons.


Mr and Mrs Albert McGimpsey, both natives of Newtownards (he was from East Street and she, born Martha Gunning, was from Greenwell Street), returned to the town from their home in New Jersey at the beginning of October to celebrate their golden wedding anniversary. It was also 50 years since they were last in Newtownards.


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