Noel Power was a ‘father figure’ at New Ross Post Office

The late Noel Power.

New Ross Standard

Noel Power, who died in mid-April, was a familiar face and a permanent fixture at the Post Office in New Ross for many years.

The messages and condolences to his family following his passing describe Noel as ‘smiling and helpful’, ‘courteous and good humoured’, a ‘good friend and a patient mentor to younger staff’ and ‘always a gentleman’.

A native of Waterford, Noel grew up in Green Street and went to school in Mount Sion.

One of 12 children, his father was a coal merchant and Noel had great memories of helping out at weekends and school holidays, still using carts and horses.

Noel was a useful young hurler, being one of the much talked about Harty Cup team of 1953. A good student, he passed the Post Office exams aged 16. He told his children he was sent for training as a Clerk to the GPO in Dublin where he was one of the last to be trained in Morse code.

Noel worked in the Waterford office for a few years, and during that time, at a local ceili, he met Mary Caulfield, the girl who would become the centre of his life. It was the beginning of a lifetime of love and happiness between them for 64 years. They married in 1959 and settled in New Ross when Noel transferred to the Post Office there.

In New Ross he began his 41 years of service, moving up from Counter Clerk to Senior Clerk and Transport supervisor in the office in Charles Street.

Over the years Noel, who lived at Harvey Place, was appreciated as a father figure and mentor to all the young staff that he trained there. Colleagues and local people that he met there became lifelong friends.

In 1963, from the rooftop of the house of some of those friends, Annie and Joe Fitzgerald, they witnessed the proceedings during the visit of President John F Kennedy to New Ross.

It was a memorable occasion for the town, and Noel could still describe the crowds, the ceremony and the inspiring words of the young President.

Over many years he was involved in voluntary activities in the town and is remembered for the work and support he gave to the fledgling No Name Club and to the Youth Centre in the 1980’s and 90’s. He was good company, a dedicated man known for his happy disposition, always with a funny story to tell and he loved a good laugh.

Noel and Mary and their family enjoyed the simple things in life. Summer holidays were spent on the beaches of Waterford and Wexford. The annual race week in Tramore every August was a popular meeting point for extended family.

Noel’s interest in horses and horse racing was well known and over the years there were several trips to Cheltenham with pals from Ross. They jokingly called the local bookies ‘their accountant’.

Following his retirement in February 1996 (his retirement celebration was covered in the New Ross Standard in February 1996) he managed to make a long-awaited trip to New Zealand to visit and spend time with his late sister Angela, who was a Mercy Sister there. He and his sister Marie travelled the length of the country with her.

Noel and Mary spent a lot of time on the road, driving to every corner of the country and beyond, visiting families of their children and grandchildren. He enjoyed every minute with them and the grandchildren loved spending time with him. Only last September they enjoyed a huge family reunion to make up for the ‘Covid’ years.

Noel passed away on April 17 at the age of 87. He is sadly missed by his loyal wife Mary, his children Angela, Pat, Francis, Jacinta, Damien, Bernadette, Eleanor and Adrian, siblings Josephine, Marie, Bernie and Phyllis, grandchildren Jennifer, Dylan, Niamh, David, Aoife, Lauren, Michael, Daniel, Damien, Hazel, Joe, Aileen, Katie, Mikey, Sabrina, Eithne, and Dawn, great grandchildren Robert, Lucas, Ryan, Rhys, Jack, Elle, Evan, Cillian, Kirstin, Alex, Scott, Leah and Ryan. Also by sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, nephews and nieces, extended family and friends.

Noel’s funeral Mass was held in the Church of the Holy Trinity in Ballybricken, in Waterford where he served as an alter boy when he was growing up. His resting place in the graveyard there, only a short distance from the house where he was born. All around are his family who have predeceased him.

May he rest in peace.