ONE of the most important events of any year for the local authority was the business of striking a new rate and the year 1963 was no exception. The headline in a local newspaper read ************Naas rate up by four shillings***********. Naas Urban District Council was rocked to its heels at the Tuesday night meeting when told by the county manager Mr M Macken, that he was looking for an extra five shillings and sixpence halfpenny in the £ on theyear’s rate, and despite more than two hours examination of the estimates they could reduce it by only one shilling and sixpence halfpenny. The new urban rate of forty three and three pence in the £ was four shillings higher than the previous year. What really angered the councillors was the fact that the urban area would not directly benefit from the steep increase.
It was a year which in June saw the passing of the much loved Pope John 23rd and Naas was the leader with the first public tribute. The Naas Urban District Council adjourned its meeting on the Tuesday night as a mark of respect to the dead pontiff. Members paid tribute to the Pope’s memory and a message of condolence was sent to the Papal Nuncio. Another tribute was paid to a local man who had died recently. The council paid tribute to the memory of Gus Fitzpatrick and a resolution of sympathy was sent to the family and relatives. Councillor T G Dowling said that his passing was a great loss to his family and to the GAA. He had been one of the finest footballers ever to wear the Kildare jersey and his passing would leave a void which would never be filled. Other members of the council also associated themselves with the expression of sympathy.
There was some debate on the state of the old Naas graveyard as a result of a ministerial letter read out at the council meeting. The letter expressed the view that old graveyards were not being well enough looked after with emphasis on a better system of inspection and more council workers being available to work on improvements. Also the council would look at better co-operation with the diocesan authorities and securing the help of local people who might be interested.
There was some concern expressed at the council about the development of supermarkets and the negative effect this would have on the local businesses. Many people were depending on small shops for their living and they were also giving employment. A resolution was agreed to curb any further expansion.
In October of the year there was a call for new sprit in community at the presentation of prizes to the winners of the Naas Tidy Towns competitions in the Town Hall. A clarion call for the education of school children in the beautification of the town and for a greater sense of co-operation and community spirit among adults was made. Cllr Thomas G Dowling, Chairman of the Naas Urban District Council, made the presentations to the winners of the various categories. Among the winners were; Business Premises – Smyth’s Garage Dublin Road. Gardens- Mrs Teehan, Pacelli Road, Mr D Ryan Our Lady’s Place, Mr J Dunne St Gabriel’s Place, Mr S Moore Patrician Avenue, Mr T Dowling, St Corban’s Place, Mrs Curley, Caragh Road and Mr W J Flynn Sallins Road. Comdt. James Guiney, Chairman of the Tidy Towns committee congratulated the winners and all the competitors, the organising committee and those who did not take part but generously gave their time with the decoration operation. He also paid tribute to the parents for playing a vital role in impressing the importance of tidiness in the town upon the children and how important it was to remove litter. He then paid a special tribute to the school teachers and the Christian Brothers. Others to whom tributes were paid included the county manager, council staff, and the county engineer who had given every assistance, the judges of the competitions and the committee in particular Dr B O’Donnell, secretary.