Third birthday card from President

By Kieran Hughes

O ne of Longlands’ most well known daughters received her third letter from the President last week when she celebrated her 102nd birthday.

Cassie Gillen was surrounded by family and friends at her Longlands Court home on July 18 to celebrate another remarkable milestone.

Cassie, who was born and raised in Ballyvesey, near Mallusk, ran a grocery store in Longlands for forty years. Her sister Maggie also ran a store in Longlands and the two were well known characters in the area.

Born on 18th July 1910, Cassie left Ballyvesey as a teenager when she moved to Greencastle where she lived until she was 48. She worked as a ‘millie’, working in the factories in the local mill as a weaver, before following Maggie’s lead by buying a shop in Longlands in 1958.

Despite the challenges of running a grocery store she made it a success and became one of the area’s most popular residents. She eventually sold the shop and retired some 40 years later in 1998.

On her 100th birthday Cassie received a telegram a letter and medal from then President Mary McAleese.

This year President Michael D Higgins continued the tradition with a letter and medal for the centenarian plus 2.

Despite suffering recent poor health Cassie thoroughly enjoyed her latest birthday celebrations.

“It was lovely!” she said, before sharing her secret to long life.

“A drop of whiskey with milk.”

 

Tags: , , ,

Who goes there, friend or foe…?

It must be hard for journalists to follow all the wars going on now. Because in these wars today’s enemy […]

From Hardinge to Street Park Lodge

The Christian Brothers were a great organisation for planning ahead. In the late 1950s they looked at the growth of […]

Top Gear’s bottom marks for figures

REGULAR readers of this column will know that Squinter enjoys the occasional punt, so the vagaries of chance are a […]

The numbers game

PICK a number – any number… That’s normally the line of a TV magician about to pull off a card trick, […]

Axing camouflages real target

Under Dr Maguire’s approach and restructuring of historic investigations, post-Al Hutchinson, the Office of the Police Ombudsman now enjoys the […]

Meeting goes downhill very quickly

THERE’S a car half-blocking the entrance to the Andytown News. It’s a black Fiesta with a southern registration and there’s […]