The Murray Club joined with the Mitchelburne Club for the Annual Visit to the Graves of Col. Mitchelburne and Col. Adam Murray on 17th September. This was the first time the two Clubs were able to join in the Visit to the Graves since 2019. The President, Gordon McMorris laid at wreath at the Grave of Col. Adam Murray. Members of the Parent Club were joined at the event by members from Ballywillan Murray and Donemana Murray.
2021 saw a return to the Initiation Weekend, 18/19 September, which did not take place in 2020 due to Covid restrictions on holding meetings.
It was good to return to the Memorial Hall, with a Parade of Murray with the Mitchelburne Club on the Saturday morning. We were able to welcome Murray members from Upperlands, Crumlin, Belfast and Thames & Avon. In total, nine new Members were made into the Apprentice Boys Association. Thanks to the Governor of the Association, Graham Stenhouse, for officiating at the Initiations.
On Sunday, again with the Mitchelburne Club, we paraded from `Glendermott Presbyterian Church to the Old Glendermott Graveyard to Visit the Graves of the Siege Heroes, Col. Adam Murray and Col. John Mitchelburne. The Hamilton Flute Band led the Parade, and played at the short Service conducted by Rev. Nigel Cairns.
The first congregation of Glendermott Presbyterian Church was established in 1654 with the Church being build some few years after the Siege in 1696. Extensions and renovations in 1938 did not alter the Church’s layout, reflecting the original Scottish form of the congregational seating to the front and to the left and right of the pulpit.
The connection with Col. Adam Murray is strong. He was a member of the Congregation of Glendermott. To the left of the pulpit there is a brass tablet framed in oak, commemorating the efforts of the Rev. James Gordon who would have been the Minister known to Murray, and to Murray himself.
Each year the Murray and Mitchelburne Clubs lay a wreath on the graves of Col. Adam Murray and Col. Mitchelburne respectively. The annual visit to Old Glendermott Cemetery took place on Saturday 19th September.
As with so much in 2020, in the context of COVID19 restrictions, the visit was scaled down with just a number of Officers from each Club attending. For the Murray Club, joining the President, Bro. Gordon McMorris, were Bro. Edgar Laird, Vice President, Bro. David Austin, Chaplain, Bro. David Hoey, Secretary and Bro. John Goligher, Treasurer.
Bro. David Austin, Chaplain of the Murray Club, opened the short ceremony with prayer.
Once the wreaths were laid, and the Salute made, he closed proceedings with prayer.
Though few of us in number, the traditions that define our Association were again maintained and honoured. We hope and pray that in 2021 we will be able to return to a full Service at the Graves to honour the heroes.
In lieu of the usual collection following a service at the graves, the two Clubs will donate £50 to the Benevolent Fund.
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).