Friday, 5 September 2014

Hard work pays off as Kindertransport Farm gets listed status

Kinderfarm / Ballyrolly House / Magills Farm
Picture courtesy of  Second World War in
Northern Ireland website
I am delighted that the Kindertransport Farm in Millisle has secured listed statusw, after leading a long campaign to ensure the historic site was properly protected.
 
Kindertransport Farm played an important part during the Second World War, giving much-needed shelter to Jewish refugee children escaping from Nazi Germany between 1938 and 1940, who would have otherwise probably perished in Nazi concentration and extermination camps.
 
I am delighted Kindertransport Farm has finally received the recognition it deserves and acquired listed status. Not only has one of Northern Ireland's key historic sites been saved for future generations, but the current owners will now be able to move forward with repairing and restoring the building under the Listed Building Grant-Aid Scheme if they so desire.
 
For the past two years I have been lobbying the Environment Minister to make this happen and as recently as a few months ago I again pressed him for a decision. Preserving this historic site has always been important to me, made greater last year when as Mayor I was able to meet Larry Kitzler, a local man associated with the farm during the Holocaust Memorial event I organised in January 2013 and local Pupil's from Millisle Primary School where Kindertransport Farm children attended back in 1930s and 40s.
 
After two-long years of fighting I was thrilled to receive notification confirming listed status for the property, proving that hard work and determination delivers.
 
Kindertransport Farm is closely linked to the Holocaust and Northern Ireland's own war history, especially the past it played in saving the lives of so many Jewish Children.
 
Anne Frank, arrested 70 years ago on 4 August 1944, once said "I must uphold my ideals, for perhaps the time will come when I shall be able to carry them out." Listing of the farm provides us with an opportunity to learn from the past and build a new shared future where the spirit of Anne Frank and ideals of respect, inclusion and acceptance prevail without discrimination.

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