The recent death of Charlie Lavin reminded me how much he was connected with the early history of “Imaal Walkers” and its formation. Charlie was already a regular hill walker for quite a few years when commemorative events marking the rebellion of 1798 began in 1998. Charlie and his friends from the hill walking group regularly attended these events dressed as pike men and women. When the year came to a close we asked ourselves “What are we going to do now? And Why not form a hill walking club?” So we began, and we are still walking. Charlie was always very dedicated and committed to any task he undertook within “Imaal Walkers”.
Charlie also encouraged some of his neighbours from Ballytore to become involved in walking. This group of mostly women became known as “Charlie’s Angels” These “Angels” are now committed to regular walks in the local area due to Charlie’s inspiration.
The Irish Guide Dogs was another group close to his heart. He organised fund raising events over many years and brought in thousands of pounds and euros. A local woman mentioned that Charlie’s walk for the “blind dogs” was on at the weekend, and then she added that her husband Jim always says “it’s not the dogs that are blind, it’s the people!”
Charlie gave generously of this time to the parish and ran weekly bingo sessions for many years. Similarly, The Kiltegan Missions benefited from his work and support. Charlie was also a source of encouragement for many young athletes in the community games and he worked tirelessly in the local athletic club, Crookstown Millview.
In addition, Charlie was a keen gardener; he enjoyed growing his own vegetables while still talking over the dividing wall with his next door neighbour Austin Fleming.
To sum him up in a few words, the Charlie that I knew was humble, kind, considerate and dedicated. We were honoured and privileged to have known him.
By John Duffey