Do you have a story to tell?

Should that School reunion zoom meeting begin to stall

Rev Jesse Jackson Snr ’89 addressing striking workers in Boston

I also thought we may need to invite participants to share a story. This was in relation to the High School zoom pre-Christmas meet up. We didn't but I still think it is a good back up plan if the conversation begins to stall.

As ever if I expected of others I better expect of myself. So these are a few stories that came to mind.

The first story of note involving something of a famous person was when George Best came to town and brought his wife Angie with him. Quite a few of us 10-year-olds were more interested in Angie than George and began to ask for a kiss and she obliged with a peck on the cheek.

The next was when I was at Armagh Tech and we had an assignment to do as part of Social Administration. Seamus Mallon MP for Armagh had his office close by so I decided to go in and ask whether he was willing to do an interview on the history of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP). He was and the interview made for a much more interesting assignment.

The summer I left the Tech I had been awarded a bursary to travel to the US with 5 others as part of promoting the Spirit of Enniskillen. It was while we were in Boston visiting the Kennedy Center for Human Rights that we came upon a Union Rally in support of striking workers being addressed by the Rev Jesse Jackson Snr. I made my way to the front as he was leaving the stage to shake his hand he obliged.

In September of the same year, my former Headteacher at Armagh Tech asked me to give a reading at a Peace Rally in Keady, South Armagh. I said yes though I needed a lift. He agreed I could travel with him. After the rally, he was invited to have lunch with the Roman Catholic Primate of All Ireland Cardinal Tomas O’Fiaich. What was he to do with me? “Well he can come too” or words to that effect came from the Cardinal. So there I was having my dinner right next to the Cardinal.

The final story comes when I was a student at University in Hertfordshire. I had gone with the Students’ Union to lobby Parliament against cuts. I was still officially a resident of Upper Bann so I called the local MP who happened to be David Trimble. He to the surprise of me and the others responded. After greeting me he invited me to discuss the matter in a Commons Tea room however just before that he had to excuse himself from a committee that sitting. Once again I found myself in tow when he entered the committee room full of MPs apologised for not attending and headed off for a pot of tea with me.

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Speaks with a Northern Irish accent, lives in Hertfordshire, England.

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Gordie Jackson

Gordie Jackson

Speaks with a Northern Irish accent, lives in Hertfordshire, England.

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