THIS week’s look into our archives takes us back 16 years – when two devoted Greenock women were celebrating the strength of their friendship five years after a life-saving kidney operation.

Annette McIntyre, from Whinhill Cresent, donated a kidney to her close friend, Helen Giff, on 15 January 2003.

The two pals were living life to the full — and were thrilled they went through with it.

Helen said at the time: “The last five years have been absolutely wonderful — I couldn’t have done it without Annette.

“The kidney has made so my life so much better.

“I can go on holiday now and just lead a normal life.”

Helen had been battling kidney disease since she was a child — but her close friend Annette came to her aid and saved her life.

Greenock Telegraph: Retro 17-1-2024

Meanwhile, a special painting by celebrated Scottish artist Robert Kelsey was set to raise thousands of pounds for Ardgowan Hospice.

The former Port Glasgow High art teacher exhibited his work around Britain, Europe and the United States.

He offered to paint an Inverclyde scene for the hospice after being approached by Brian Clements of Greenock, who conducted an auction at the annual hospice ball.

Robert’s painting of ‘Cove Road, Summer’ was expected to fetch between £2,000 and £3,000.

Greenock Telegraph: Retro 17-1-2024

Elsewhere, Cloch Housing Association celebrated its 40th birthday with a party for staff and tenants.

Provost Michael McCormick praised the organisation's achievements at the Elliot Court sheltered housing complex in Carwood Street, Greenock.

The association was formed on 16 January 1968 as the Christian Action (Greenock) Association Limited to stem the flow of young families leaving Greenock.

Mum-of-three Jane Cheshire, 59, who held the longest tenancy of 36 years, said: “I’m very happy here and I have lovely neighbours.

“All my kids grew up here and Cloch has been very good.”

Greenock Telegraph: Retro 17-1-2024

In other news, Gourock Primary youngsters were urged to be positive during a ‘determined to succeed’ workshop for pupils.

Ten-year-old Calum Dyer was pictured holding bags to illustrate how negative thoughts can weigh you down.

The workshop was entitled ‘can do, will do’ and was taken by tutor Jon Curry of TlG education, who gave a talk to the attentive pupils.

Greenock Telegraph: Retro 17-1-2024

In sport, Morton striker Chris Templeman had played his last game for the club and was moving to East Fife on an 18-month deal.

He was set to join former Cappielow clubmate Bobby Linn at the Third Division league leaders after a spell lasting just over three years.

Templeman came to Cappielow from Brechin City after a transfer fee of £80,000 just over three years previously, but had never fully settled.

Greenock Telegraph: Retro 17-1-2024

Ton boss Jim McInally said at the time: “It’s disappointing that he never really established himself.

“He never moved through here and was travelling every day [from the east coast].

“I have a lot of time for him as an individual and we weren’t going to stand in his way when he got the chance to move back closer to home.”