After almost two years in compilation the long awaited album of photos from the Upperchurch-Drombane area will be launched in Drombane Hall on this Saturday evening, Dec. 2nd, at 7.45 p.m.
The book, entitled "'Twas How We Looked" contains about 600 pages and 2,500 photographs and gives a comprehensive pictorial record of life in the locality over the past century and a half as well as including nearly all the present inhabitants.
The book will be on sale from next week at O'Dwyer's and Nora Ryan's in Upperchurch, at Drombane Co-op and at Bookworm, Scanlon's and Eason's in Thurles, all at a cost of €35. Details for postal and online purchases will be posted on www.upperchurch.ie website.
The album is the result of a huge co-operative effort involving contributions of photographs from over 500 households and thousands of hours of hours of collecting, research, selection and editing by the local Historical Society who left aside the production of the annual historical journal for the last two years to concentrate their efforts on this once in a lifetime publication.
The book is sure to stir memories and induce feelings of nostalgia for the middle aged and older. The young can learn of local history and characters as well as put faces to the names of the old timers whose deeds and follies they have only heard about. For those who take an interest in "tracing" the book is a treasure chest of surprising information and is also bound to raise several queries about family connections.
The Upperchurch-Drombane area has wonderful scenery but even these views are subject to change over time. While most of the book is in black and white there is a forty-eight page colour section mainly showing the local scenery, sometimes from new and unfamiliar angles.
In general the photographs are in random order. The aim was to provide a book which will be a pleasure and relaxation to look through, rather than a reference book complete with sections, index, etc. All photographs submitted have not been published. Reasons include duplicates, poor quality, the same people in other photos or an inability to identify people.
We, the present generation, live in a time of rapid change. The speed of this change is unprecedented and the memories of times past are fading quickly. Technology has brought many wonders but has sidelined many of the old ways of interaction with our relatives and neighbours and how we remember them. Text messages and facebook posts just don't do tracing and stories of the old times. Neither can they show the personalities of people as do face to face meetings at church, creamery, pub, shop or post office, all long standing institutions now under pressure.
All communities have a past, a present and a future. It is easy to ignore the past, or worse still, to belittle it. But the people of the past made us what we are. They gave us our very existence, our values, our environment, our institutions, our culture and our wealth.It would be ungrateful and a mistake to forget. Hopefully this book will help keep their memories alive.
Neither should we ignore or take for granted the qualities of our present community. Genuine friendship and concern for each other as well as voluntary effort are as strong as ever they were. Top class religious, business, educational, cultural and sporting institutions are there for us all. Those who provide them should be appreciated and supported. This book is one way of doing so.
As you look through the pages it will soon become obvious how quickly time tightens its fist and the young become old and pass away. Our children are the community's future and our greatest asset. Even more than the past and present generations of adults they should be given their rightful recognition and appreciation. One of the best ways to do this is to give them time and tell them the old stories and traditions. It is hoped that this book will help to preserve these old stories of the past by pointing out the faces and places of "Twas How We Looked".