Cairncastle brigades to celebrate 70 years

Pictured during the 50th anniversary celebrations of Cairncastle Boys' Brigade are (L-R) Mrs Phyllis Robinson, the late Mrs Jessie Clarke, Mrs Iris Morton, Mrs Eileen Peoples and Miss Beth Morton. INLT-28-713-con

Pictured during the 50th anniversary celebrations of Cairncastle Boys' Brigade are (L-R) Mrs Phyllis Robinson, the late Mrs Jessie Clarke, Mrs Iris Morton, Mrs Eileen Peoples and Miss Beth Morton. INLT-28-713-con

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Preparations are underway for the 70th anniversary celebration of Cairncastle Girls’ Brigade (55th NI Co) and 1st Cairncastle Boys’ Brigade later this year.

A reunion event will be held on October 23, in the Halfway House Hotel, Ballygally, with a thanksgiving service combined with the enrolment of the two companies on Sunday, October 25, at 11am.

If anyone was or knows of any past members of either the Girls’ Brigade or the Boys’ Brigade in Cairncastle, they are invited to attend these events.

Those who wish to attend can contact 0792 8910336 for further information regarding this special weekend in the life of Cairncastle GB and BB.

The late Rev A E Anderson BA, who was ordained and installed in the congregation in 1945, formed the companies and became chaplain.

When the organisations commenced in 1945, the Second World War had just ended. As electricity had not yet reached Cairncastle, heating was provided by one coal fire on the platform and lighting provided by two tilley lamps in the hall. There were no toilets, kitchen, store rooms or water.

Mrs J R Clarke was the first captain followed by Beth Morton, Eileen McCarey (Mrs Peoples) and then Phyllis Robinson.

In 1965, the GLB became know as the Girls’ Brigade, and by 1968, 1st Cairncastle Company became known as 55th Northern Ireland Cairncastle Presbyterian Company.

In 1977, Cairncastle GB took part in the Queen’s Jubilee Parade held in Larne.

In 1990, Cairncastle GB attended the opening of Carnfunnock Country Park when youth organisations provided a Guard of Honour for the Duchess of Kent who performed the official opening.

The 50th anniversary of the GB and BB in Cairncastle was celebrated in the Drumnagreagh Hotel in 1995, at which over 200 past members and friends gathered.

The company of today takes great pride in knowing they are continuing in the footsteps of the leaders and officers of years gone by and had it not been for the Rev A E Anderson, Mrs Clarke, Beth Morton, Eillen Peoples and Phyllis Robinson, serving the company with many officers over the years there would be no 70th anniversary of the Girls’ Brigade in Cairncastle in 2015.