On the evening before the Commemoration the regular meeting of the Parent Club included the Initiation of twenty-four candidates, including nine to be the core of the proposed Club in Corby, six from our oldest Club, Partick and others from Donemana, Newtownstewart, Manorcunningham and Greenock. It was a tremendous end to a year of exceptional numbers being Derry Made into the Murray Club.
Australia Murray had recalled the 335th Annual Commemoration of the Shutting of the Gates earlier in the day, in Adelaide, which included the installation of a new Officer team. All the very best to the Club as it continues to establish itself, consolidating and growing, keeping alive the memory of the Brave 13 on the far side of the world.
There was a huge turnout of Apprentice Boys for the Annual Commemoration In Londonderry, reflecting a year of outstanding growth for the Association across all Clubs.
The Service of Thanksgiving in St. Columb’s Cathedral was packed, and with many standing at the back. A wreath was laid on the Siege Heroes Mound. The day ended with the burning of Lundy, with the Mitchelburne Club have the honour to keep the traditions of the Association for this year.
Murray Clubs were unable to join the 331st Annual Commemorations for the Relief of Derry in 2020. General Committee maintained the traditions in the Maiden City. Branch Clubs held local Commemorations, some with short parades and others with simple Acts of Remembrance at local War Memorials.
In alphabetical order, with longer reports for Clubs in Crimson by clicking on name:
AghadoweyMurray held a short service at the local War Memorial on Saturday 8th at 2pm in a simple Act of Remembrance. President Edward Acheson laid a wreath on behalf of the Club.
Antrim Murray laid a wreath at the town’s War Memorial; President Bro. Phil Laverty assisted by Vice President Bro. William Surgenor. In keeping with the day’s Anniversary the Club made a contribution to the local Steeple Veterans Flute Band to dress as apprentice boys for its short parade.
BootleMurray held a short Service of Remembrance at Bootle Cenotaph at 11am on Saturday 8th. A short service was led by Ian Thompson of Bootle Protestant Free Church. President Keith Taylor laid a wreath, assisted by Bro. William Lorimer.
Thirteen members of Bryansford & District Murray held short Act of Remembrance at the Newcastle War Memorial on Saturday 8th August, led by the Chaplain, Rev George Speers. The wreath was laid by Wreath laid by Vice President, Bro Richard Foster.
Donemana Murrayheld a wreath laying ceremony at the local Orange Hall, and was joined by Mrs Mary Hamilton on the day who presented the Club with gifts in memory of her late husband Ernest who had been a faithful member of the Club for over 50 years.
Greenock Murray held two short services on Saturday 8th August. Wreaths were laid at the Broomhill which is on the Clubs traditional Parade route.
Also at Wellpark Cenotaph, the central one to Greenock, and close to where the Club regularly meets.
Also at Wellpark, the Greenock Murray remembered Bro. Andy Potter who died suddenly in March 2020 at a bench that (due to Covid regulations) has yet to be dedicated.
NewtownstewartMurray laid a wreath at the War Memorial at 2pm, having watched the Red Hand Defenders pass the Memorial.
President, Sam Allison, was joined by David Bradley, bandmaster of the Red Hand Defenders. The band, of which a number are Murray members, paraded the town.
Teemore Murray held a short Act of Remembrance on Saturday morning, laying a wreath at the Tandragee War Memorial. Present were Tres. Mark Cowan, Robert Cowan, V.P James Wallace, President Daniel Haire, Sec. Trevor Cowan, Noel Berry, David Uprichard.
UpperlandsMurray started the day with a short Parade in Maghera. Returning to Upperlands, there was a short Parade before an Act of Remembrance at the recently completed Memorial Garden; President Ivan Gordon and Vice President Hugh Hunter laid a wreath on behalf of Upperlands Murray, joined by Boveegh Flute Band.
A large number of Wishaw Murray members turned out on Sunday, 9th August 2020, at the Armed Forces Memorial Garden in Belhaven Park Wishaw to commemorate the Relief of Derry. The wreath was laid by one of the youngest Members of Wishaw Murray. There was a short service, with a closing prayer and the National Anthem.
In online Zoom meetings we have heard many stories of how our Clubs have keep in touch with their members these past few months. Facebook, WhatsApp and technology generally has been an essential part of ensuring contact is maintained and support is made available where required.
A good example of this activity comes from our Greenock Branch Club. Around ninety percent of Members are part of a WhatsApp group, and over recent months the rest were telephoned or visited to keep in touch with everyone.
Greenock Murray also made efforts to ensure that it supported the local community. The Club decided to donate funds to local health centres, particularly those who would normally rely on donations.
The President, Bro. Aitken, and Vice President, Bro. Lamont presented a £200 donation to the Ardgowan Hospice in Greenock. Some members made the presentation of £200 to the Cowal Hospice in Dunoon; one of the members having been a patient there on remission a few years past.
Finally, a £200 donation was presented by to the Sir Gabriel Woods Mariners’ Home in Greenock where the father of one of Greenock Murray’ members has been a resident for 15 years.
Great to see how Murray Clubs have risen to the challenges and made a difference to so many by helping those who might otherwise have been alone or unsupported in these difficult times, to Members and others within the wider community.
On the 21st September 2019, the Murray Club joined with the Mitchelburne Club to visit the Graves of Murray and Mitchelburne at Glendermott Old Cemetery, with an inspiring short Graveside Service by the Rev. McBeth of All Saints Clooney, and music accompaniment by a member of Barron Accordion Band.
A parade to the Memorial Hall was followed by the Initiation Meetings for the respective Clubs. Murray Club initiated six new Members on the day, three from Greenock, two from Upperlands and one, our first enrolled member to be Made, from Australia (on right below).