A total of 43 (that number later increased to 44) were in attendance at the Annual Reunion and Dinner in Thomas Street Methodist Church (Wesley Hall) on Friday, May 5.
Before the dinner, a minute’s silence was observed in memory of those members and friends of the Association who had passed away in the twelve months since the previous reunion and dinner ; Ernie Best, John Hunter, Errol Johnston, Harry Leeman, Rev. David Neilands, Mrs Vera Vennard, Errol Whitten, Malcolm Wright and Richard Wright. A prayer for the families of the deceased was offered by the Rev. Aian Ferguson (Portadown Methodist Circuit Superintendent) who also said grace.
Steven Wright (Chairman) welcomed everyone to the meal and stated he was delighted to see a number of Vice-Presidents and former Chairmen in attendance, along with members who had not been at the reunion and dinner for a number of years due to health issues. There was also a visitor from Scotland, Mr. George Preston, and he too was welcomed by the members.
A delicious four-course meal was served up by Yvonne Aston and her catering team, and this was well received by all in attendance.
Following the meal, Bobbie Wright was awarded Life Membership in recognition of over 70 years faithful service to the Association. In his acceptance speech, Bobbie recalled that his uncle, ‘Joss’ Bell, a former captain of 1st Portadown Company Boys’ Brigade and an ex-Chairman of the Old Boys’ Association was instrumental, along with a number of others in forming the Company, initially as a boys’ club in 1919, which a year later became 1st Portadown Company Boys’ Life Brigade, and eventually became 1st Portadown Company Boys’ Brigade in 1926.
Entertainment came courtesy of ‘Accordion Sounds’.
The evening ended with the traditional singing of the 23rd Psalm, followed by the Rev. Aian Ferguson pronouncing the benediction.
A table containing attendance cards of some of those attending the reunion and dinner created plenty of interest.
Those attending the dinner were ; Rev. Aian Ferguson, Mr. Roy Dreaning (pastoral cover), Albert Adamson (VP), Marshall Allen, Billy Austin, Jim Boyd, Trevor Brady, Billy Cooper, Dr. Raymond Cox, Brian Crozier, Ivan Davison BEM (VP and Life Member), John Gates, Leonard Gillis, Ryan Harris, George Harrison, Wilfred Henderson, Trevor Jackson, Jim Johnston, Andrew Millar (Captain, 1st Portadown Company Boys’ Brigade), Kenneth Moffett, Brian Morrison (Vice-Chairman), Billy McCann, Jim McClung, Billy McCrory, Errol McCrory, John McLellan, Albert McNally, Victor Pickering (VP and Life Member), Stephen Pollock, George Preston, John Proctor, John (Jackie) Rae, Jim Silcock, Kathy Stevenson (daughter of Jim McClung), Paul Teggart (Secretary), Henry Thompson, Kenneth Twyble (VP), Kenneth Vennard BEM (VP, Captain, 7th Portadown Company Boys’ Brigade), Dessie Watson, Ronnie Watson, Leslie Wells (VP), Roy Woolsey, Bobbie Wright (VP), Steven Wright (Chairman).
PHOTO CAPTION :
Bobbie Wright (second right) is presented with gifts to mark his Life Membership award from left ; Rev. Aian Ferguson, Roy Dreaning, Steven Wright (Chairman) and Brian Morrison (Vice-Chairman).
PHOTO – Marshall Allen.