IT’S going to be a family affair for one Bandon family who will be working behind the scenes during Pope Francis’s visit to Ireland later this month.
David Jeffers, of the well-known music shop, Jeffers of Bandon, which has been in business since 1904, secured the tender to provide digital organs for the ceremonies as part of the Papal visit to Ireland.
And his wife Olive, daughter Erica (17) and son Stephen (20) are also helping out to ensure everything runs smoothly for the important event.
The family firm has quite an impressive record when it comes to organs as they have put in about 900 organs in churches all over Ireland over the past 45 years.
For David, this will actually be the second time he has worked during a Pope’s visit, having helped out in 1979 during the visit of Pope John Paul II.
‘I was 15 years old then and I went up with my dad Peter as we had been hired to bring an organ up to Limerick Racecourse,’ David told The Southern Star.
‘We were given a special garda permit to gain access to the racecourse and we put the Conn electronic organ in the day before the event. Back then there were about four companies in the country providing these organs, but now there’s only one or two. So three generations of our family will have worked on papal visits.’
That particular electric organ actually ended up being bought and was installed in a church in Sixmilebridge in Co Clare after the Pope’s visit.
‘For the forthcoming Pope’s visit, I tendered for it about 18 months ago and got a confirmation in May that I was successful. So I will be providing one organ – a Viscount Digital Organ ¬– for the Mass in Phoenix Park and I will also be providing three Viscount organs for the World Meeting of Families event in the RDS the same weekend.’
If that wasn’t enough, David will also be providing a Viscount organ for the Pope’s visit to Knock on Sunday August 26th, which is fully booked.
‘I will be doing the Phoenix Park with Erica, while another team – Steven and my wife Olive – will be looking after things in Knock, so it’s a family affair alright,’ added David.
He said the feedback from people in Bandon has been very positive once the news came through that he won the contracts for the visit.
David will also be exhibiting three organs at an exhibition of church-related items for the World Meeting of Families at the RDS earlier that week.