An elderly farmer from Co. Donegal received an 80th present to remember, with his family gifting him a fully restored vintage tractor, as reported in the Donegal Daily.
John Patrick McKelvey celebrated his 80th birthday over the weekend and the farmer received a present from his nephews, Thomas and Sean McKelvey, that he had been waiting for all of his life. The farmer from Mounthall in Killygordon had always hoped to get his hands on a rare vintage David Brown 30D tractor.
The farmer never achieved in getting his hands on one, that was until his two nephews embarked on a mission to locate one ahead of his birthday. After extensive searching, the brothers located a 1955 model at Cheffin’s Auction in Cambridge, England and brought it back to Ireland last year. They then spent the year fully restoring the tractor using only original parts, with the brothers admitting the hardest part of the mission was keeping it a secret from their uncle.
“It’s amazing that he didn’t get a glimpse of it or find out what we were up to,” said nephew Sean.
John Pictured above with his nephews, Sean and Thomas.
The Reveal -
As part of John Patrick’s birthday celebrations, the brother aimed to reveal their present at the farmers party in Biddy Friel’s bar in Drumoghill.
They met a significant hurdle, however, with the tractor to large to fit into the lounge. This wasn’t to deter them though, as with the help of owner Tony Morning they removed the doors of the bar to get their unique gift inside. The efforts were all worthwhile, with John Patrick in complete shock at the gift.
“Most people would have just parked it in the street but Tony went the extra mile and took the doors off the bar to surprise John Patrick.” Said Sean.
“We put a cover over it and I just can’t describe John Patrick’s reaction to it. He was just speechless and very emotional. We were all very emotional and I’m even emotional now speaking about it.” He continued.
Over 150 family and friends were in attendance at the party in Drumoghill, in what was a night to remember for John Patrick.
Pictures - Clive Wasson.