Thomas Cantwell, The Turnpike, Two-Mile-Borris retired from the staff of Centenary Thurles recently and a special party was held for him in Corcorans, Two-Mile-Borris. Thomas was on the logistics staff of the company for 38 years having previously worked in Cartrack, Thurles.
His first association with Ballyduff creamery was when he started a milk collection round from Leigh to the creamery. Little did he realise then that he would eventually work with the Co-op for less than four decades. It would be an under exaggeration to say that Thomas loved the David Brown. Thomas became the permanent driver, when his father was unavailable, collecting the churns of milk from Leigh hill starting in 1962 on the “Milk Run”. With over twenty heavy churns to negotiate, it was not easy work. During that time the Creamery was also a supplier of many items and the list would be fairly large as wanted by the suppliers - skimmed milk, butter, layers mash, pig feed, paint, day old chicks, bacon and indeed often groceries from Corcoran’s shop. He was always most obliging and a Good Samaritan to many. Soon afterwards the Cantwells moved out into agricultural contracting: ploughing, tilling and sowing the fields in the springtime. This often saw Thomas up at the crack of dawn doing the agricultural work before he hooked on his trailer and collected the milk. His own tillage had also to be looked after later in the day.
Money was scarce during those years and when the other siblings came along there was plenty of hands available for the domestic and farm work. So Thomas decided to get employment away from home. In the late 1960’s Thomas got a job on the bigger wheel as a driver with Cartrack in Thurles under the management of Luke Ahern where his brother John Cantwell worked as a mechanic. Thomas collected tractors and machinery in Dublin and delivered to farmers far and near.
At the function to mark his retirement attended by work colleagues, family and friends a special presentation was made to Thomas on behalf of the “Borris-Moyasta” visitor exchange group. The presentation from the group consisted of the replica of a truck that Thomas had driven in Ballyduff. It was designed and made by Ciaran Dunne, Airmount. The presentation was made by Father Joe Tynan C.C. Music was provided by Mick Collins and M.C. was Gerry Bowe who traced Thomas’s life from infancy to the present time. Joe Kerrigan CEO of the company spoke on their behalf and outlined Thomas’s great safety record and the care he took with his trucks for them. An overwhelmed Thomas replied suitably. Thomas married Josephine, a Ballylongford, Co. Kerry woman in 1975 and they have five in family and one grandson. It is always sad to say good bye to a work colleague but we all agree that Thomas deserves a well earned rest and no doubt he will enjoy his retirement with Josephine and family and we wish them many years of health and happiness.