“A healthy social life is found only, when in the mirror of each soul the whole community finds its reflection, and when in the whole community the virtue of each one is living” - Austrian philosopher, social reformer and architect Rudolf Steiner once quoted. And, so it was with such sentiments in mind that the whole community gathered together at the local community centre in Ennybegs last Thursday night to celebrate the centre’s 25th anniversary.
It was a project that was spearheaded by a number of local men who, after getting the entire community to row in behind them, persevered to bring the community centre to fruition just three years after the idea was first mooted.
Backed by the people of the parish, fundraising was vital. Money was gathered from Dublin to Belfast and from Killoe to New York and the excitement mounted in the parish as cars and tickets to New York were offered up as prizes for a number of the draws.
During last week’s celebrations, which included Mass and refreshments at the centre, Fr Séan Casey said that it was a “great privilege” for him to celebrate Mass for the occasion.
Fr Casey said the decision to build it in the first place had been “vindicated”.
“The benefits to the community is hard to quantify,” he added. “It serves the young people of the parish; the drama society and bingo, to mention but a few. Fr Tommy Leavy was in this parish 25 years ago and I am sure that you all have great memories; so I think that it is very fitting that we remember those whose foresight and generosity brought our community centre to fruition. It is the heartbeat of our village.”
Eugene Devaney’s father, Pat, - alongside Jackie Hughes, John Doherty and Peter Comiskey - was instrumental in bringing the community centre project to fruition, and Mr Devaney also added further sentiments to the proceedings.
“It is great to be part of such a great group of people and I hope that we will be back here again in another 25 years to celebrate the 50th anniversary,” he smiled.
“The centre sponsored the recent Titanic commemorations in the parish and is a place of hospitality where we are all equal regardless of what we do or don’t do. This is a proud moment for the parish.”