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.
The 332nd Commemoration of the Relief of Derry took place on the 14th August 2021. While more than the 30 who took part in August 2020 due to Covid regulations, the Association continued to be cautious and reduced the main Parade in Londonderry to the General Committee and eight Parent Clubs. The colour and spectacle of thousands of Apprentice Boys with banners and bands on the main Parade wasn’t to be.
As is tradition the heralding the main Commemorative events, the firing of a cannon one and three times for the Brave 13, took place at midnight in the 13th August.
This was followed by members of the Murray Club symbolically touching the four gates of the City Walls, closed to the armies of King James.
The morning’s Commemorations started as they would any other year, with General Committee and the eight Parent Clubs walking the Walls.
Having held an Act of Remembrance at the Cenotaph the parade returned to the Memorial Hall, from where the main Parade undertook the traditional route of the full Association.
Returning back to the Memorial Hall later in the afternoon. The flags that had been erected earlier that morning on Walker’s Plinth were taken down, and the day ended with the close of General Committee which had been opened before the day commenced.
Meanwhile around the country, Murray Clubs participated in local parades in local towns, keeping alive the memory of the Brave 13.
Bryansford & District Murray started the day by sharing a message on social media:
In the evening Bryansford joined other Clubs of Apprentice Boys in Rathfriland:
Ballywillan Murray joined others in Coleraine for a Commemoration Parade:
In Aghadowey, the Murray Club started the day with a short Service of Remembrance at the local Cenotaph:
Aghadowey Murray then joined other Clubs from the Coleraine area, in Coleraine, for the afternoon:
In Newtownstewart the local Murray Club started the day with an Act of Remembrance at the local Memorial, followed by a Parade and then a Family Fun Day:
Joining Newtownstewart Murray were Clubs from Plumbridge, Sion Mills, Raphoe, Castlederg, Ardstraw, and Cappagh. Bands accompanying were Newtownstewart’s Red Hand Defenders, Eden Flute Band, Castlederg Young Loyalists Old boys, and Donemana Sons of William.
Finally, Upperlands Murray Club held an Act of Remembrance at the local Memorial, before parading though Upperlands and on to Maghera to join other Clubs to Commemorate the 332nd Relief of Derry:
The Murray Club has Clubs in Northern Ireland, Scotland, England, Canada and Australia. This website explains the importance of Col. Adam Murray and why our Club is named after this particular hero of the Siege. If you would like to know more about the Club please use our contact page.