Happy New Year!

I just got back from “the motherland” – Ireland – where I was visiting my grandparents for the holidays. On of my favourite things about visiting my Granny’s house (other than my Granny, of course!) is this fantastic illustrated address on the walls of one of the bedrooms. It was written to my Grandfather’s uncle by his employees (click picture for hi-rez version):


What a treasure…

The text reads:

Address of J. G. Fitzgerald
Brown Thomas and Co. Dublin

July 1887

Sir –

We the employees of the above firm feel that we cannot allow the present occasion to pass without expressing in some degree our deep sense of the kindness and consideration which we have always received at your hands, and in granting us the great boon of a Summer Holiday as a Free Gift you have but added another link to the already lengthy chain of obligations for which we are indebted to you.

The value of the privilege is greatly enhanced by the speedy response we received to our request and this assures us that in consulting the firm in your capacity of Manager you must have met with a cordial and sympathetic support in the course you proposed to adopt and it is our desire that you will convey to the firm our best thanks for their acceding so promptly and graciously to your representations.

We assure you Sir that the boon now granted conferring as it does on each and all of us an opportunity of getting a much needed rest from the turmoil of business and of acquiring renewed vigour and energy for the battle of life will but act in the future as a new incentive to us to discharge our duties faithfully and with increased zeal.

In asking you acceptance of this address we think it right to record that it represents the spontaneous and undivided expression of respect and esteem in which you are held by every employee in the firm and we sincerely trust that health an happiness may be granted you in the years to come, and that the firm of Brown Thomas and Co. may always be found foremost in recognizing the humanity of man, and that the prosperity which has ever characterized its career may alike distinguish it in the years to come.

“The friends thou hast and their adaption tried.
Grapple them to thy soul with hooks of steel.”

Signed, etc.

(Illuminated by J. Hopkins, 13 Nassau St. Dublin)

Now THAT’S a thank you note! It really is a beautiful piece of family history, and a beautiful piece of art. The man in question was my grandfather’s uncle. Here is the gentleman himself:


Interestingly, this man’s brother (another uncle of my Grandfather) emmigrated to Alberta around the same time. Here’s a map my parents have illustrating a portion of Alberta in 1882. You can see the homestead of James Fitzgerald.



P.S. I composed this post on my brand new Acer Aspire One – a great Boxing Day purchase!