Gold Coast

Over recent years North Down has been regularly referred to as the “Gold Coast” because of it’s relative affluence in comparison to the rest of Northern Ireland, leading some to say that the only social division in the area is between the "haves and have-yachts". But now it seems as if the term “the Gold Coast” may have some basis in fact, due to the results of an unparalleled geological survey revealing that the area has the conditions which suggests that there may be seams of gold in the local bedrock.
Local residents seem divided over whether this is a good thing, but Nigel Dodds, the local minister for enterprise, trade and investment, is unsurprisingly, very upbeat about the possibilities this raises for the local economy… perhaps more so now that the signature project at the so-called Titanic Quarter has failed to gain the 25 million pounds lottery funding it was angling for under the “Living Landmarks Programme.” It remains to be seen as to whether this rejection will prove to be the euphemistic iceberg that sinks this Titanic idea.
But the question is, how many people may ultimately benefit from either of these schemes. The environmental and social impact of any concerted search for gold on the County Down coast would be massive. But only a relatively few are likely to significantly prosper from it.
And as for the Titanic Quarter, and it’s signature project, well, I do wonder at times how many of the descendents of those who built the original Titanic will be living in the shadow, not of shipyard cranes, but whatever is finally erected in that area?
Personal happiness and social prosperity is rarely achieved solely by the pursuit of gold or glitzy development programmes. For individuals or societies to find real abiding happiness and stability there needs to be a radical reorganization of priorities. As Jesus said:
Put God’s rule first and what is right in his eyes, and everything else that you need shall be given to you as well.
How high up God’s priorities is digging for gold in Helen’s Bay?


Written for Downtown Radio’s Dawn Reflections Sunday 21st October, 2007

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