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New Ross Children sing for President Kennedy

Margaret Kells

For several weeks leading up to the visit of President Kennedy, Fr Power ( an augustinian Priest) asked all the school children from 3rd class to 6th class to come to St. Michaels Theatre after school in order to teach us the songs we would sing for the President when his helicoptor touched down In Kennedy Park. We went to the theatre every evening after school. He taught us the American National Anthem, Boolavogue and several others. Finally the great day dawned and we all had to be in the park hours before his helicopter arrived. I remember him getting out of the helicopter and walking slowly towards us. He had a slight limp and his hands were hanging. We sang our songs and afterwards he proceeded to shake hands with us. I was one of the lucky ones. I have boasted ever since about shaking hands with the President of the United States of America. He then got into his Motorcade and was driven towards the Quay where there had been a platform erected. We managed to hear most of his speech on the quay afterwards. Some months later we heard that we,(the children) were invited to America to appear on The ED Sullivan Show. Of course we could not all go. So some of the children were hand picked by the teachers to go. Thoes of us who could not go are still jealous today (50 years later) of the ones that did. ( ha ha)

- in New Ross