Gerry McCann back in Blantyre

Looking at some people stories today. In Summer 1967, Mr Gerry McCann, formerly of Blantyre came back home from New York for the first time in 40 years to visit family and friends. It’s thought this photo was from that visit and I think was taken in Hastie’s Farm.

Mary Meaux told me, “Right to left starting bottom row, Gerry his wife Liz and then his sisters, Mary (my mother) who was married to Neilly McCue of Blantyre Celtic fame. Behind Mary is Jean who was married to Tommy Flynn.   Jean and Tommy both worked at Miners Welfare.  Jean for so many years until she finally retired. Then Liz who was married to Tuck Morton. Then Alice who was married to John Carroll. And Alice’s daughter Linda
The four sisters lived in Blantyre from a very early age.”

I have some good notes stored away about Gerry which I can add to this photo. A Blantyre boy he was educated at St Josephs School. He left school to work as a woodflour miller at Walker’s Mill at the Village, beside Walker’s Mill. As many young men did in the 1920’s, in 1927 he left Scotland and headed to the USA seeking a better way of life and better employment prospects. As the Great Depression hit, he worked there on several jobs before settling down to work for I.B.M (International Business Machines in 1942 who would later become better known for their computing accomplishments.

His wife Lizzie McCaffety was a Burnbank girl. He had 3 of a family and as of 1967, two of them were married. When he returned to Scotland that year, Gerry and Lizzie stayed with her sister in Burnbank at 4 Stanley Street.  During their July holiday, they took in some of the beautiful Scottish countryside, visited Ireland and England before returning to America in August.

Gerry had at the time, four sisters living in Blantyre who were delighted to show off the Stonefield Public Park, something which greatly impressed Gerry. He also had a brother in Glasgow. He was also “mighty impressed” by the new Blantyre Schools, the modern buildings of David Livingstone and St Blanes Primaries, built in the late 1950s.

As a sidenote, the County Council that 1967 Summer had newly secured the sites for Blantyre High and High Blantyre Primary, though it was to be some 7 years later before they would open. Much of the delay was due to disagreements and issued in securing the land for the school playing fields, the council wishing as large an area as possible to create adjacent pitches.

Does anybody know of this McCann family and what happened to them? I’m assuming there was a strong Blantyre-Burnbank-International connection for some time after.

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