WHAT IS A CUCKOOITE?
At first I was going to decline Tommy's request, I thought that it was a tall order and much more suited to someone with better writing talents than mine, such as Del Southon, or Jim Davis.
You see Tommy had asked me if I would like to write an article on
"What is a Cuckooite?".
I thought about it for a while, took another swig of scotch and hit the keyboards as my first thoughts, mixed with the scotch started to run through my head and warm the cockles of my heart.
Technically the first Cuckooites were my parent's generation, I am the youngest of about eleven kids, I say about eleven because that is what my Mum always said.
You see she was never quite sure how many kids she had, and when she was talking to us she always ran through a list of our Christian names before getting to the right one.
My parents were survivors of two world wars, like many other families, they moved to the Cuckoo Estate in the late 1930's, just before WWII started.
For them, moving to the Estate was an unimaginable dream come true.
Families came from poorer, overcrowded, run down accommodations from all over
We had a nice front and back garden, in which we could grow vegetables, raise chickens or grow flowers and hang out the washing to dry or keep rabbits.
When the war broke out, Anderson Shelters were installed in all the back gardens which provided the families with shelter from Hitler's horrific V-Bombs.
Well there is a lot more facts and history to all of this but we'll save that for another time.
The Estate was built on some land that was part of the
It is now known as The Hanwell Community Center.
However none of this really answers Tommy's question "What is a Cuckooite?".
The term Cuckooite, I believe, was originally conjured up between Tommy our editor and Ethel Damian, or Effo as we know her. Apparently, Cuckooites, is what Eff's father affectionately called his neighbours on the Estate.
We all had a great place to grow up and when the war was over, we had so much fun playing in the nearby Castlebar Fields, The Old Cuckoo Schools and it's dungeons, The Bunny or
Returning to the question "What is a Cuckooite?", well you could say a Cuckooite is anyone who lived on or even near the Estate. Or the descendents or relatives of anyone that lived on the Estate. You could also say that a Cuckooite is someone who would always help their neighbour. Even if was just to loan them a cup of sugar or a pint of milk when they ran short.
You could say that a Cuckooite watched out for his neighbour and his neighbour's children. You could also say that a Cuckooite always looks on the bright side of life and appreciated how lucky they were to have a nice roof over their heads.
You could say that a Cuckooite was someone like Dr.Lasnick who would brave all kinds of weather to go out and care for his beloved patients on the Estate if they were sick.
Another way would be to describe their great sense of humour and common sense.
Or the hardworking way they managed to raise their families on a few shillings a week and kept them well fed and clothed.
Self sacrifice was foremost in our parents nature, they really knew what hard times were.
Their wonderful spirit and kindess to each other was essential if they were to overcome the perils and destruction of WWII.
These values have been passed down to us, almost like DNA they are in our genetic make up. This torch which we now carry and it's flame should never dim, but shine brightly and these same values passed on to your grandchildren too.
Cuckooite's also know how to enjoy themselves, simply and honestly, each year they travel from the four corners of the Earth to meet up for a good old fashioned knees-up in a hall near the Estate. It may sound like a strange ritual, but it's certainly not one to be missed, talented Cuckooites such as Sheila Bransfield and Mr.Finucane, the man with the golden voice, will sing their hearts out as well as dance to Roll Out The Barrel, Knees Up Muvver Brown, and other old favourites.
So "What is a Cuckooite?" certainly they are all of the above and more, if you have your own special definition of a Cuckooite .let's all hear it we'd love to know how proud you are to be one too.