This lovely photo was sent in by Monica Jean Chizmadia.
This is her father, Gerard ‘Scotty’ McGarry photographed in Stonefield Public Park, Blantyre around 1950 or so. You can see how popular the park was then, the former boating pond clearly visible. The young trees only a couple of decades old and all at a time before the beautiful trellises and rosebeds were laid out. The park looks well kept.
Gerard McGarry was born on 16th December 1944. He was born at Fin me Oot, Caldervale, Blantyre on the very day of the start of the Battle of the Bulge, the last major German offensive during WW2.
His mother was Elizabeth Cox, and throughout his life, he had a warm large family who he cherished, especially his grandmother Jane, brother John McGarry and cousin John McMurray.
He came to the United States in 1962 following the demolition of Caldervale, graduated from Garfield H.S., class of 1964 and permanently settled down in the States; but his heart always remained “back home” in Scotland. Gerard passed away on 7th December 2013, just short of his 69th birthday.
He was a devoted husband to Jean, loving father to Monica Chizmadia, Barbara Jacuk and Jacob Surma. his obituary reads, “He was always the life of the party, and his energy was magnetic. “
Today, we remember that wee “Caldervale boy”, pictured in the park all those years ago.
Pictured also in 1962, the derelict Caldervale as the last family leaves.
Featuring Blantyre Project Social Media with permission. Strictly not for use by others on or offline, our visitors said:
Margaret Mary OSullivan Absolutely brilliant photos! The photo of the park brought back so many memories! Take it’Scotty’ was his nickname in America. I found this post incredibly moving.
Anne Marie Hanlon Margaret Mary. The McGarry’s were our neighbours in Belvoir Place before the family emigrated to America. Lovely family. Happy childhood memories. I’m Anne Marie Allen btw. Xxx
Margaret Mary OSullivan Anne Marie Hanlon Oh hi Anne Marie! Loved Belvoir Place. Great memories of playing there! 😊 Is this not a wonderful Project? Lets us relive so many wonderful memories!
Anne Marie Hanlon What a fabulous carefree childhood we had. We were so lucky.
Margaret Mary OSullivan Anne Marie Hanlon We really did! Would be wonderful to return to these golden times – even for a day.
Marian Maguire He must be related to willie McGarry who married my dad’s cousin Rose Gallagher, they moved back after 40 years or so to Hamilton. When in USA the lived in Garfield, New Jersey, where I And most of their extended family visited in 32 William Street. Willie McGarry was born in fin me Oot as well and was from a very large family, I think there was 12 with one or two sisters the rest all boys, one sister was Sarah who lived in the states and was in her nineties also John who I believe is still living. Rose and Willie were married around the very late 50’s early 60’s in St Josephs Blantyre, shortly after going to live in New Jersey, where most of Willies family had gone. Until a few years ago Willie would visit us on a Friday night when Rose went out with her sister Margaret O’Brien who at 99 years still lives In Berkley Drive. Yes Anne Marie Hanson I remember visiting them in Belvoir before the wedding.
Anne Marie Hanlon Marian Maguire I remember the big farewell party they had before the left. All the neighbours gave them little presents to remember us by. I remember sending messages to them in America on a reel to reel tape recorder. There was a brother called Bobby. He was lovely. He came to visit my mum and dad when he came to Blantyre on holiday.
Giovanna Matarazzo Mandel Marian Maguire wow!! I was just going to post and ask if this was William McGarrys relative. My grandparents raised their family in Blantyre on Priory Street. My mom, Catherine Miller came to the US in 1955. Our family were close friends of William andRose. My Aunt Ann rented the apartment above William and Rose for quite a few years on Williams Street. Such lovely people. My grandparents were George and Jeanie Miller. After my grandfather died in 1957, my grandmother came to the States and lived in Garfield the rest of her life. ❤️
Marian Maguire Hi Anne Marie Hanson, and Giovanni matarazzo mandel its a small world, as I said Roses last remaining sister is Margaret Gallagher O’Brien who will be 100 this June, god willing, and all her family still live here in Blantyre. And Roses other sister Bridget’s family live in Hamilton, it was Bridget’s house they bought after she and her husband passed away. Rose had a sister Betty in the outskirts of Edinburgh and I think Willie had a nephew and maybe a niece there that he used to visit. Roses other sister Mary stayed in Calderwood East Kilbride But died in the late 70’s she is the mother of Fr Willie Crawford who I’m sure you will remember as he visited Rose and Willie often. Rose and Willie are buried in St Convals Cemetry Barrhead as Fr. William who is now over 80 and Canon Crawford is the Chaplin for St Convals and he decided to lay them to rest there. When I was in Garfield years ago visiting they had a big party with all Willies family there, but I can’t remember who was who, John his brother was over a couple of times a few years ago for their funerals. I will ask Aunty Margaret O’ Brien if she remembers your grandparents George and Jeanie miller. My own father stayed in the rows with the Gallaghers when he came from Ireland as their mother Lizzie was my dad’s aunt.
Marian Maguire Yes that’s right, Rose Gallagher, McGarry in the red trousers and that’s my cousin Pat O’ Brien from Berkley Drive in the striped jumper beside her, he now lives in halfway will be maybe 72 this year. I dont recognise anyone else but will ask, this looks as if it’s down in England I think William had family there. I was only about 4/5 years when they got married, then they went away to the states, so don’t know the rest of the McGarrys as they all went as well. William was a very industrious man and could turn his hand to anything, I think he was an engineer in America.
Valerie Krawczyk What a lovely story, sad that he died so young
Nan Burrows Interesting
Carolyn Patterson Lovely wee story
Rena Connor William McGarry was my Mum’s cousin( Liz Quinn) also from Caldervale, my Gran’s maiden name was McGarry, William’s Dad Paddy was my Gran’s brother
Marian Maguire Sadly one of the worst things to happen in Blantyre was the demise of Reamond Gormley, who I believe was related to Willie McGarry also, I think his granny was his cousin.
Helen Gaittens Marian Maguire , yes my mum Annie Reynolds was his cousin and Reamonn Gormley Granny
RB Smith Hi my name is Barbara ….
Scotty’s step daughter. It is so awesome to hear all of your stories . My sister Monica bother Jack and I miss him dearly. There is so much more you can learn on each side of my step dad if you have questions you can always email my sister Monica who is Scotty’s biological daughter she does not have Facebook but I know she would love to hear from you. ❤️.
Monicachizzy@gmail.com Thanks everyone.
Ted Mcgarry RB Smith Gerard was my cousin and I do believe he had an old photo of my dad being captured by the Germans at Dunkirk during WW 2 it would be great to see it again.
RB Smith And Scotty’s wife Jean McGarry misses him everyday there is not a moment that goes by that he is not in her thoughts
RB Smith Our mom will love to hear all your thoughts
RB Smith A message from my sister Monica. Willie is Elizabeth’s brother, Elizabeth is Gerard’s mother. They lived in Fin Me Oot with the other siblings which were John, Joe, Patrick, Bobby, Sarah, Frank, Edward, Danny and the other two names I cannot recall at this moment. Jane was their mother and she raised my father as well. They considered him a brother. Willie moved two blocks away from us in America in the house that was mentioned. Small world indeed! We had so many parties in their basement! Rose was the sweetest aunt and Uncle William was always fun to be around. I pass that house daily when I go to visit my mom, so many memories!! John is still alive and Sarah passed away a few years ago. We are also related to the Reynolds. Thank you so much for the feed back! My father was very proud of his heritage, and he would be so pleased at this project and all the responses!!! Thank you so much!!
Ted Mcgarry RB Smith Danny Mcgarry was my dad.
Pat Taylor RB Smith Patrick was my Dad
Mary Kane The morning my mother died Gerard’s mum took my brother who was only a month old and kept him for a week until the funeral was over I was six at the time but still remember it lovely family rip Gerard
Pat Taylor How lovely to read about my Uncle’s and Aunts Patrick Mcgarry was my Dad,Gerard was my Cousin
Ted Mcgarry My father was Danny Mcgarry, Gerard was my cousin.
Jean Mcgarry Patrick Mcgarry was my dad Gerard was my cousin.