On 30th October, the 11th anniversary of Charlene’s death, Charlene’s Poppa completed his 181.1km “My Life Cycle” to raise funds for the Secondary School Project that Charlene’s Project has begun in Uganda. Poppa Jim has been retracing his life by covering the miles between the different places he has lived on his exercise bike in the garage of his Lurgan home. He was warmly welcomed into Aughnacloy, the town of his birth, by Carla Lockhart MP, having covered the miles between his present home in Lurgan and all his previous homes – Waringstown, Bangor, Dungannon and Killyman before his final leg to Aughnacloy.
On my final few kilometres I’m thinking of Aughnacloy as it was all those years ago in the 20s and 30s, and I don’t mind admitting that I feel a little homesick. In those days, just a thin strip of tarmacadam up the Main Street, about 12 feet wide, to serve as a road for traffic. Long gone is the creamery, the handball alley in Back Street, the bond store in the barrack yard which housed the generator for the street lighting, the large water tower on Main Street just opposite Trough Lane, the Valley Cinema and the flax and saw mills at Mill View, the Clogher Valley Railway and Engineering Works at the bottom of Carnteel Lane. I remember so clearly the Fair Days, when the town was so full of people and livestock. I could go on and on about those days, but before I finish I must tell you about Moses. Moses was a large white billy goat with large horns, and was kept in a field on the Monaghan Road. Occasionally Moses would escape, and suddenly all the streets became deserted and doors closed until Moses was captured and brought back to the field! Times were hard for everyone in those days, especially our parents, as there was very little work to be had, and no benefits like there are today, definitely no food banks. But it was a great time to grow up in. Aughnacloy will always be my home; I just wish that period in history could have been recorded to show to the present generation. Then the war came in 1939 and a whole new era began, but that’s another story. Charlene’s Project is deserving of the support for the work it is doing for communities and children, particularly in Uganda. I hope my small effort will help to raise some badly needed funds to help build a secondary school for these kids. Charlene’s passing was eleven years ago today, October 30th 2010. What a tribute to her memory if we can get this school started. Thank you all, and God Bless, Jim Copeland
Poppa Jim had decided to do his “My Life Cycle” after finding his mobility deteriorating during the COVID lockdowns when he also experienced a number of falls and had to move in with his daughter due to deteriorating health. He felt if he was to do a little bit of exercise on an exercise bike – it might improve his physical and mental health and also be a source of fundraising for the Secondary School Project Charlene’s Project has embarked on in Uganda. He is delighted that so many have supported him and his fundraising target of £5,000 has been surpassed with just over £7,000 raised to date. The school building is expected to begin in the next 2 to 3 weeks.
Donations can still be made to his appeal at https://gofund.me/876add33 or by scanning the QR Code below:
More of his reasons for doing his “My Life Cycle” is contained in his own words in a recent Sunday Life article and video in the link below: