John (Jack) Du Moulin RIP- Des Smyth

We are sad to note the death of John (Jack) Du Moulin. His funeral Mass will take place at noon tomorrow Friday 30th  in the Church of St Therese.

Jack was the surviving son of John Du Moulin a man who has left a great legacy in Mount Merrion. He arrived here in 1934 to become John Kenny’s Foreman, He was very involved in the building of all the Kenny homes. After World War 1 he continued to build homes on The Rise and on Trees Road. In 1952 he secured the contract to build the Church of St Therese. Tomorrow 60 years after it was officially opened his son Jack’s funeral Mass will be celebrated there.

Jack’s father John was using a block and tackle crane to build that high church. Imagine the weight of the Granite blocks. He could not source a new crane in the UK due to post war rebuilding. So he went to Germany and met Mr Hans Liebherr who sold him a mobile crane which was deemed most suitable for the building of the church. The only hitch was they would need a mechanical engineer for a few months to show them how to use and assemble and disassemble the crane. The only available engineer spoke no English. So the Parish Priest asked if anyone spoke German and would take him in as a lodger. Major Bonnington in 103 The Rise right beside the church volunteered.  He spoke German and since his children had emigrated and his wife had died he was all alone. He had provided the Du Moulins with eggs and chickens during the war years.

After a month or two the Engineer went home for a week and when he came back he had a big wooden box with him. The young local lads were curious about the contents of the box. So that night they crept up to the window and they heard the two men singing German songs and an open box with 2 dozen bottles of Schnapps— one open and half empty.

I sent the story to Sir Chris Bonnington the famous explorer and asked if by any chance the Major was related. He responded a week later—-“I well remember my childhood visits to 103 The Rise in Mount Merrion to visit my GRANDFATHER. More to follow.