In February 1973, a very young looking Martin Haran celebrated his 98th birthday with a glass of champagne.
Martin, of Kerr Street, Blantyre, one of a family of thirteen, came over to Scotland from County Sligo, Ireland in 1905. He was employed by British Rail as a signalman at Blantyre Station where he worked up latterly until his retirement at 65 years old.
Martin’s wife died in 1937 and he had lived with his daughter May, since then. Kathleen, his other daughter lived at Castle Douglas. Certainly in 1973, Martin was the oldest resident in Blantyre, making that claim.
In the 1920’s Martin was first a Director of the Independent Co-op and was actively involved with the Labour Party. His love of Robert Burns poetry made him a household name in Blantyre. May, his daughter had just recently retired from her teaching position at St Joseph’s Primary School when this photo was taken. With the exception of being slightly deaf in one year, Martin was said to be cheery and in fine health upon his 98th birthday.
Martin’s typical day in retirement started at midday with a visit to the bookies. He enjoyed an occasional beer but his great love was playing whist at St Josephs Parochial hall.
Martin Joseph Haran DID live to be a 100 years old, celebrating his centenary in 1975, although passed away later that year.
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