The Blantyre Gazette liked reporting on stories of former Blantyre people revisiting their hometown and especially describing what was out there, “Beyond Blantyre”. Another example of such a story follows here.
In mid July 1948, on his fourth visit home from America, since he went there in 1928, Mr Charles Donnelly, former Blantyre man enjoyed a Blantyre holiday. Staying with his sister Mrs Berry of 34 Birdsfield Drive, High Blantyre, he told Blantyre Gazette reporters that he could never dream of making a home again in Blantyre, which he considered as having nothing to offer in comparison with the United States.
Mr Donnelly, unmarried at the time of the report (1948) went to the USA in 1928. Prior to going there, he was employed as a dairyman with Mr William Tait of Burnbank. In the USA, he found a job as a butler and was doing well. The Blantyre Gazette report continues, “Despite the fact that he has been so long away from Blantyre, Mr Donnelly does not forget his many friends around the District. Relatives in Blantyre and elsewhere have received numerous food parcels from time to time and he has also helped many times to assist people who are, perhaps less fortunate than himself. Mr Donnelly just does these good deeds for the love of helping others as he feels that if more people thought along the same lines as himself, that it would be a better world to live in.”
Mr Donnelly moved to 1449, 2nd Avenue, New York and kept in close contact with Blantyre through subscribing and being sent the Blantyre Gazette every week. “This wee paper”, he assured the reporter, “gets aroon plenty!”. When he is finished with it, it gets passed in New York to other Blantyre and Burnbank friends and family. Finally, once it has done those rounds, it finds its way into a hospital for disabled soldiers and sailors. A Mrs Clark, who was originally from Kilmarnock, and is a captain of an association known as “The Gold Star Mothers” was the person responsible for providing the disabled men with their reading material.
According to Mr Donnelly, there were no food shortages in America, a significantly different situation from a decade or two earlier. Foodstuffs and clothing are plentiful and people don’t require to worry about ration coupons and personal points. Asked about his employment situation, he said that there were jobs for everyone who wanted to work and contended that people who weren’t in employment either didn’t want to or were physically unfit. Mr Donnelly stayed in Blantyre that 1948 Summer for a couple of months. Knowing fine well that food in post WW2 Blantyre wasn’t so plentiful, he didn’t take any chances and had travelled from America with some of his favourite food, sufficient for his stay in Scotland!
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