Sam Howie memorial event draws in crowds at Raloo

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THE man who put treasure hunts on the local map – and in the papers - former Larne Times correspondent, the late Sam Howie, was fondly remembered with a special hunt named in his memory, which took part in Raloo last Friday night, attracting a good turnout of 29 cars.

Main organiser of the Sam Howie Memorial treasure hunt, Hilary Apsley, explained: “Sam was a man of many talents. He devoted his life to this community and, well known in east and south Antrim, he always gave 100 per cent to those in the local area.

“Sam was a loyal and lifelong member of Raloo Presbyterian Church, a session and committee member; League of Church Loyalty Secretary and a Sunday School teacher - and he always made sure that events in Raloo were well represented in the local press.

“He was a past pupil of Toreagh Primary School and was very supportive over the years of the principals of the school. In his early days, he also helped out in the sports days and even made the headlines when he reported about Sharon Buchanan being the only girl to make the school football team.

“Sam was greatly interested in the youth of the area, and he was very much involved in the Young Farmers, as patron and trustee of Gleno Valley YFC and was also secretary for some time.

“Another great love was Larne Football Club, where he served on the committee. He was also greatly interested in equestrian events, with the activities of local riding clubs and centres always well documented in the papers.

“However, on the long summer nights, there was nothing Sam liked better than to be out on a treasure hunt and there’s quite a few here tonight who he introduced to treasure hunts through Sam. Most of us will have our own particular memories of Sam on treasure hunts – like the times he used to pick up pony jumping results, or reports on Women’s Institutes on route”.

He was also a long-standing and faithful correspondent with the Larne Times, writing on all manner of topics including sport, equestrian events, church notes, WI reports and, of course, treasure hunts during the summer months.

In the mid 1980s, Sam presented a cup for the winner of the treasure hunt organised by the Raloo Ladies Circle, an event which was last held in 2002.

Past winners of the cup included some of the area’s top treasure hunters, two of whom, Harry Black and Davy Smith are no longer with us.

Elizabeth Crawford, who, like Hilary had often been part of the Sam Howie treasure hunting team, re-presented the trophy for the winner of this new Sam Howie Memorial Hunt; the first recipient being the man with the only all correct paper, Robin Duddy, Doagh.

Winner of the novice class was Bryans McIlroy, Ballynarry – and there were prizes for most of the 29 cars who took part.

A delicious supper, served up by members of the Raloo Ladies Circle, rounded off a most enjoyable evening.

Forthcoming hunts;

Wednesday, July 24 – Dungonnell LOL, clues by Wilma Fleming and Olive Moore.

Wednesday, July 31 – Carnlough Civic Week, clues by Sean Haveron.

Friday, August 2 – Raloo Non Subscribing Presbyterian Church, starting from Gleno Dairy, clues by Morris Gardiner.

Saturday, August 10 - Kilbride Presbyterian in memory of the late Billy Hoy, clues by William Duddy.

Thursday, August 22 - St Joseph’s Parish Centre, Greystone Road, Antrim – clues by Vera Heggarty.

Saturday, August 24 - Craig’s Parish Church – clues by Davy Montgomery.

Wednesday, August 28 - Third World Group, Parish Centre, Randalstown – clues by Vera Heggarty.

Church, in memory of the late Billy Hoy, clues by William Duddy.

Thursday 22nd August – St Joseph’s Parish Centre, Greystone Road, Antrim – clues by Vera Heggarty.

Saturday 24th August – Craig’s Parish Church – clues by Davy Montgomery.

Wednesday 28th August – Third World Group, Parish Centre, Randalstown – clues by Vera Heggarty.