The inaugural meeting of Wishaw Murray Branch Club was held on Saturday, 19th June 2010.
The preparatory work to form a Branch Club began when 13 men met in “Tuckers Hut” on 21st January 2005 to determine if there was significant interest to form and sustain a Branch Club in Wishaw.
A formal request to form a Branch Club in Wishaw was initially refused by the Murray Parent Club as it was of the opinion that there were too many Clubs within the area for a new Club to flourish and that those who were interested could as easily join Murray Branch Clubs in Partick or Possilpark.
Those planning the new Club appealed the decision, explaining that Wishaw was situated on the Clyde Valley, 15 miles south east of Glasgow, a post-industrial town with a population of over 30,000 making it one of the largest towns in South/North Lanarkshire. Partick and Possilpark Branch Clubs were some 20 miles away. There were no objections from any Branch Clubs in the surrounding towns and villages.
The Murray Parent Club Meeting formally granted approval to form a Murray Branch Club in Wishaw in September 2009. As December 2009 came to a close there were 33 who were ready to establish the new Club, 25 of whom were Derry made.
Planning started for a June 2010 opening. Lillias McLaughlan Kirkland presented us with 50 working collarets. The Club was donated a Bannerette, and four Standards. Then, with just over a week before our opening disaster stuck, when the delivery of table Cover or collarettes never arrived. Thanks to assistance of SAC Secretary Craig Stevenson and Bridgeton No Surrender Branch Club formal attire was made available in time for the “big day”.
Wishaw Murray Branch Club held their Charter Installation Meeting in Wishaw District Orange Hall on Saturday, 19th June 2010.
Over 200 Apprentice Boys from all over the United Kingdom travelled to Wishaw for the opening.
The meeting was opened in true and ancient form with the proceedings chaired by Bro Gordon McMorris, President, Murray Parent Club, followed by the Charter being read by Bro Edgar Laird, Secretary, Murray Parent Club.
Wishaw Branch Club was formally constituted when the following members gave a promise to honour the dignity and interests of the Apprentice Boys of Derry: Bro’s Jim Armit, George Brown, Brian Calderwood, Sandy Jardine, Charles Kelso, Alan Love, Graham Montgomery, Alan McFarlane, Graham McLaughlan, Neil McLaughlan, Jim Scott, Jason Smith and Joe Wilson.
The election and installation of officers was then carried out by Governor, Bro James Brownlee ably assisted by General Secretary, Billy Moore. History will record the officers that day as being as follows:
President – Bro Alan Love
Vice President – Bro Jim Scott
Chaplain – Bro David McConville
Secretary – Bro Graham Montgomery
Treasurer – Bro Sandy Jardine
1st Committee Man – Kenny Bertram
2nd Committee Man – Neil McLaughlan
3rd Committee Man – Alex Oliphant
4th Committee Man – Eddie McRorie
5th Committee Man – Joe Wilson
Tyler – Bro Murray Douglas Dunbar
Chief Marshall – Bro Alex Oliphant
Assistant Chief Marshall – Bro Jim Forsyth
Auditor – Bro George Brown
Auditor – Bro Derek Campbell
In his opening remarks newly elected President, Alan Love stated
“I am proud, as are all of our members, old and new, young an old, to be part of this historic crimson family that is the Apprentice Boys of Derry.”
“Honoured to be standing here as a member of Wishaw Murray Branch Club. I thank our members for their encouragement and tenacity in making this our dream a reality. Today and together we have made history.”
“Privileged, to have been elected to the highest office within this Branch Club, the office of President. I make no apology for our aims and aspirations; they are the same or should be the same as every other Branch Club in the country, to be the biggest and best Club in Scotland, to innovative and exciting and above all promote and keep alive the events of 1688 and 1689.”
“And finally, I am humbled, as are all our members to be associated with the name Colonel Adam Murray, a man who bravely led numerous cavalry charges outside the gates of the besieged city to inflict casualties on the forces of King James II. We the officers and members of Wishaw Murray Branch Club salute his courage, his leadership and his sacrifice.”
The initiation ceremony of all new members was then carried out by Bro Andrew Barrowman, Motherwell Walker Club, and Bro Raymond Ferguson, a Member of Wishaw Murray Branch Club.
A bottle of deluxe whisky emblazoned with the Murray Club crest was then presented to all distinguished guests before they in turn congratulated the way the newly installed Officers had conducted the business of the inaugural Charter Meeting and wished us well for the future.
Following the close of the meeting Wishaw Murray Branch Club and our guests paraded through Wishaw accompanied by Bridgeton Loyalist and The County Flute Bands.
A short service was held at Greenhead Public Park, with the unfurling and dedication of our bannerette and flags dedicated by the Rev Alan Calderwood, before returning through the town Centre to the District Orange Hall.
Guests were hosted at the Artisan Restaurant for a fine traditional Scottish meal, before attending a social evening in the District Orange Hall with the entertainment provided by Tracey Nelson.
From its early years Wishaw Branch Club has always supported local community events. In 2011, it donated £1000 to Kyle’s Quest to help 8-year-old Kyle Grant travel to St Louis Children’s Hospital in Missouri, USA to undergo an operation which would enable him to walk. Kyle was born 11 weeks premature and suffered from cerebral palsy; his grandfather Wattie Moore was a member of Shotts No Surrender Branch Club.
In August 2011 it was a great honour for Wishaw Murray Branch Club to attend the Relief of Derry parade and walk the city walls with the County Flute Band, one of the finest in Scotland.
The year ended at the Shutting of the Gates in Londonderry, with our President being one of those firing the cannon over the city walls when the clock struck midnight.
Members of Wishaw Murray then joined with the Parent Club in carrying out the ritual of touching the four historic City gates.
Our President and officers were delighted when on 15th June 2019 one of our youngest members Bro Derri Brown attended the historic Charter Meeting of the new Murray Club in Australia, a great honour for Derri and for our own Branch Club.
2020 has brought Covid-19 and a challenging time for all Branch Clubs. Although Wishaw Murray has been unable to celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2020, the Club has found the Zoom meetings’ technology an ideal to keep in touch with each other in this eve-changing climate of uncertainty. Wishaw is thankful that none of its members has been affected by the virus, though several members have been hospitalised with other ailments, and Bro Graham Montgomery’s heart bypass surgery was suspended because of the pandemic.
For 2020 we returned 47 members and remain in good health as a Branch Club. Our duty of care to all our membership means we have made every effort to keep in regular touch with young and old, and new, and under the present circumstances we continue to promote and keep alive the events of 1688 and 1689.
Wishaw Murray wishes to acknowledge its thanks to past worthy members.
In Memory Of:
Bro. Raymond “Hedgie” Ferguson,
Bro. Hugh McLaughlan,
Bro. Eddie McRorie,
Bro. Archie Millar
Bro. John “Jolly” Smith