May 04 2020

First Holy Communion Day

Published by at 12:03 am under News

‘This is my older sister, Vera Coffey, making her First Holy Communion in 1945. That table is in nearly every studio photograph I have of my family. I even have one of the Ma’ standing at that very table when she was sixteen years old. Some of you might already know the story behind Vera’s First Holy Communion outfit but for those who mightn’t, I’ll tell it again. With 1945 being the War Years or “The Emergency” as the Da’ called it, there was little or no money to go around and especially when it came to such a very special occasion as a First Holy Communion.

Now, I have to say, that the Ma’ was never one for putting her hand out to “The Vincents” for help, the one time that she did she was turned down, so she said to the Da’ “Never again”. So, when it came to dressing our Vera out for her First Holy Communion the Ma’ was in a quandary.

Our next door neighbour, Granny O’Brien used to work as a seamstress in Arnott’s but had to give it up when she got married but she still had her own Singer sewing machine. Now, she also had a daughter who worked for a place over off Mountjoy Square that made Habits for laying out dead people in and they also made the lining for going inside the coffins.

Granny O’Brien sent in for the Ma’ and told her to bring our Vera with her. Well, in next to no time at all she had sewn up a most beautiful outfit for our Vera out of the material that her daughter had brought home from off the factory floor, the coffin lining. She even made the little handbag out of it as well. The Ma’ made the veil out of some Net Curtain material that she had left over from when they first moved into our house all them years ago. Granny O’Brien made our Vera’s stockings and knickers for her on the sewing machine as well. So, our Granny Burke, the Ma’s mother, bought Vera’s overcoat and shoes because Vera was her first grandchild and was named after the little girl our Granny lost, she was only three years old when she died.

So, there you have it, our Vera and her First Holy Communion outfit story…’

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