By John Sexton
THE support which rural organisations are providing for charitable institutions has to be admired and appreciated, said IFA deputy president Tim O’Leary, at the West Cork Vintage Day.
Speaking at the Buttimer farm in Crohane, Ballinascarthy – the ancestral home of Henry Ford – on Sunday, he went on to recall how the name of Ford is so highly respected throughout Cork and beyond and he felt privileged to be asked to attend.
The event was being held on land identified with farming since the Ford family were farmers there, before emigrating during the Famine to start a new life in Canada.
On a global scene, things are much the same today, with so many migrants facing the same daunting journeys. And, just like the Fords proved in Michigan, many may yet become world leaders.
On a lighter note, Mr O’Leary said that his own earliest memories of Fords were to see his father bringing home those famous Ford boxes which they and many other farmers used for making calf-pens.
Other speakers on the platform included Michael Ryan, chairman West Cork Vintage Society, Mayor of Clonakilty Cionnaith O’Suileabhain, Fr Paddy Hickey PP; site owner Vivian Buttimer, Dr Jason Van der Velde of West Cork Rapid Response, John McCarthy (M & S, New-Holland), and Pat Finn of Cancer Connect.
Kieran Lawton, managing director Ford Ireland, spoke about the legacy of Henry Ford, with special emphasis on his founder’s decision to establish the first Ford factory outside America – in Cork in 1917.
Despite the poor weather, a large crowd turned up and while the corn-cutting and threshing had to be abandoned, there was an extensive display of machinery, old and new, including tractors of all ages, and Tom Hales’ Bulldog giving out a welcoming siren for all.
There was also a massive display of Ford cars – from the Model T to the most modern. After the outdoor show, well-known historian Tim Crowley presented an hour-long video on the history of the Ford family. It chronicled John Ford’s decision to leave Crohane in 1863 with his family, including William, who married a lady from Fair Lane in Cork. These were later the parents of Henry.
Hazel Ford Buttimer also contributed to the video, as did her son Vivian, who runs the family farm.
At the conclusion, everyone was treated to a reception, compliments of the Vintage Club and the Buttimer Family.
Proceeds from the day were for two worthy causes – Cancer Connect and West Cork Rapid Response.