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.
The link to the gallery of images is here.
The English Amalgamated Committee held its AGM and Parade for the second year running in Blackpool, set to be a popular annual event. Along with the Murray Club President, Gordon McMorris, this was an excellent opportunity to meet with our English Clubs, including SAMS Liverpool, Bootle, Lancashire & Cheshire, Thames & Avon, as well as Partick from Scotland. English brethren were joined by many from Scotland and from Northern Ireland. Numbers were an increase on last year, and there were two evenings of entertainment, one with the EAC and a second organised by SAMS Murray which took the pressure on numbers that the EAC venue could accommodate. In addition to meeting our current Clubs we were able to spend some time with members of the potential club to be based in Corby. A very worthwhile weekend.
The day started with sunshine and ended with a torrential downpour. Luckily, it did not rain on the Liverpool Parade. A good turnout of our Clubs in the Liverpool area, with Members on parade from Liverpool Murray, SAMS Murray and Bootle Murray, as well as members from nearby Lancashire & Cheshire Murray.
With this Parade so close to the SAC Rally, football in Scotland leading Police Scotland to insist on an ‘out of season’ event, numbers in recent years have been less than in the past. Good to see numbers improve and hoping that that small increase is repeated in years to come. Southport was welcoming and a good day for all.
An approach to the Parent Club Secretary early in 2023 led to a Special Meeting of SAMS Liverpool Branch in Corby in mid-May to enrol eight members who would be a core part of establishing a new Murray Club in Corby. There had been a No Surrender Club back in the 1980s, but it dissolved and issues still rumble. The mostly young coterie who wished to make a new start in Corby decided on Murray as the future Parent Club. Since May, others in the Corby area have transferred into the Parent Club. Wishing SAMS and its Corby members all the best as they work towards a new Charter for a Murray Corby Branch Club sometime in 2024.
A weekend in Blackpool supporting the English Amalgamated Committee, intending to generate enthusiasm for a restart after these past few disruptive years. Along with the Murray Club President, Gordon McMorris, it was an excellent opportunity to meet with a number of our English Clubs; SAMS Liverpool, Bootle, and Lancashire & Cheshire. English brethren were joined by many from Scotland and from Northern Ireland. Members of Newtownstewart Murray travelled with Castlederg Young Loyalists (Old Boys) FB, to make a weekend of it. A good parade and evening harmony, which is hoped to become an annual date for the diary on the last Saturday of October.