On Thursday, October 17, Laurel Lodge nursing home at Templemichael Glebe , Longford, played host to a reenactment of a typical station mass from 1950s Ireland.
Margaret Reynolds, activity organiser, explained, “The stations came about years ago when priests weren’t allowed to say mass and would say mass in various places outside. Then it moved into the house.
“It was always a very important day. It was a blessing for the house, livestock and all of that. In those days they were held at ten o’clock in the morning.
“That’s what the residents remember, the old house station mass.
“It was for the residents, but there were some visitors also. Anyone who had a family that wanted to come in were more than welcome. The dining room was full of people,” she continued.
The reenactment followed each and every custom that allowed and featured traditional items such as a clay pipe, soda bread, sugar cubes, the hanging of new net curtains, right down to the ladies of the house enjoying a glass of port while they awaited breakfast.
Margaret explained, “I followed it to what I remember.
“The men always had breakfast first with the priest. Men were always well looked after,” she joked.
“The priest had two eggs and toast, while the rest got one egg.
“If the woman of the house which was hosting the station mass had a few shillings, she might have a small bottle of port hidden under her apron and while the women were waiting to get their boiled egg, they had a small glass of port.”
The event was organised as a way to help residents relive their glory days and the many traditions they were well accustomed to, while also helping to invigorate their minds and get more active.
Margaret praised the benefits of the whole experience for residents and says it got them thinking for themselves.
Margaret said, “They were talking about it for two weeks beforehand, they were so excited.
“The aim was to get the residents thinking for themselves. The skirt and jumper I had on me, a resident got them for me.
“She also told me she had it washed and aired for me. She also rang a neighbour of hers to get me an old pair of boots.
“Some of the residents even joined in the hymns with the priest. A few of the ladies, when we told them the Longford Leader were going to be in, said I better make sure I have my lipstick on,” she added.
Margaret promised that there will be many more activities like this in the future and wished to thank anyone who helped out.
“Thank you to all of the residents and management of course, who gave us the freedom to go ahead with this.”