The New Year

The Southern Star, Saturday 31 December 1921

As the final days of a tumultuous 1921 draw to a close, the Southern Star profoundly reflects on what a new year has to offer.


"Ring out the thousand years of war;

Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring out the darkness of the land;

Ring in the Christ that is to be."

January takes its name from, and is dedicated to Janus the Roman god, of opening and closing a deity represented with trow heads turned in different directions. One symbolising retrospection; the other typifying prospection; and likewise New Year's Day is a time for looking backward, inward and forward: "a time for memory and for tears," a time for reflection, repentance and resolution. We try to ascertain how we stand towards God, our neighbours and ourselves.

The errors and mistakes of the past rise up in ghostly array to taunt our judgments and haunt our consciences. We brood and mourn over disappointed ambitions, blasted hopes, shattered friendships. many will recall with bitter indignation and burning heart scald the snubs and sights and wrongs that they have endured, and will loudly rail against the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. Memory will, indeed, be busy. There will be fond and tearful remembrances of, and keen and deep regret, for beloved ones, whose warm hearts are stilled, and whose strong hands are chilled in the numbing grasp of icy death.

But if the passing away of the old year will draw the silent tear from the in-most recesses of the heart, the birth of the New Year will bring the smiling sunshine of gladness. Genial Spring is at hand. Nature, after its long wintry sleep, will reawaken into renewed and reinvigorated life: birds will mate: young men's fancy will lightly turn to thoughts of love: le joie de vivre will be in the air.Humanity throbs in sympathetic concord with its surroundings.

The human heart will be filled and thrilled with new hopes, fresh ambitions, re-inforced zeal. The gloomy past will be forgotten in the sunshine laden present. Let Syrsum Corda be our watchword. Let us look forward to the future with confidence and courage. May the New Year bring peace, prosperity, joy and contentment to every Irish heart and home.