Former PM of New Zealand in visit to research ancestry
ONE of the world’s most powerful women visited Portadown on Friday, almost unnoticed, to seek her ancestry in the area.
Helen Clark (62) was three-times Prime Minister of New Zealand (1999-2008) and is now administrator of the United Nations Programme.
She called at Seagoe Parish Church to study the records of the McMurray family, her autobiography showing that her mother was Margaret McMurray, who was a primary school teacher, and whose family emigrated to New Zealand from this area during her childhood.
Canon Terence Cadden, Rector of Seagoe, confirmed that Ms Clark had called on Friday afternoon, “but as I was involved in a funeral I was unable to spend much time with her”.
The McMurrays are thought to have come from the Annaloiste area, and if anyone knows about their history - or when they emigrated to NZ - the Portadown Times would like to hear from them.
Helen Clark was the fifth longest-serving PM in New Zealand, and was the first to be elected to the office, although the first one, Jenny Shipley, actually took office mid-term as the result of a party leader challenge.
Records show that she married her partner of five years, sociologist Peter Davis, before an election in the 1970s, under duress and for political expedience.
She wasn’t keen on the institution of marriage and apparently cried throughout the service. But she claimed it was the result of a headache.
Ms Clark was in town for most of Friday, and the staff of Seagoe Parish Church are not sure how far she got in the search for her ancestry.
Anyone who is connected with the McMurray family should let the Portadown Times know on 38336111 or 0770 109 2654.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Portadown
Sunday 26 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: South
Temperature: 5 C to 14 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: South west