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Special events mark choir’s 80th anniversary

George and Sable Irwin (left) and choir chairman Colin Campbell and his wife, Kathleen with special guest John Anderson (right) at the gala dinner. INNT 10-526CON

George and Sable Irwin (left) and choir chairman Colin Campbell and his wife, Kathleen with special guest John Anderson (right) at the gala dinner. INNT 10-526CON

Ballyclare Male Choir is holding a series of special events to celebrate its eight decades of choral singing.

The first event, a gala dinner, took place on February 21 in the prestigious surroundings of the Belfast Harbour Commissioners Offices. It was attended by more than 100 choir members and guests.

Newtownabbey Borough Council was represented by Councillor Jim Bingham, and the main guest speaker was broadcaster and musician, John Anderson.

A very different but equally important event was held in Groomsport Presbyterian Church on Sunday, March 2 – a service of thanksgiving for the life of Mr Sam Stewart.

Mr Stewart, a founder member of the choir in 1933, sadly passed away in October 2013 at the age of 100.

Sam and his family had lived in Groomsport for the last 32 years, but, as his daughter Maureen said in her thanks to the choir, “he remained a staunch Ballyclare man.”

The next event on the anniversary calendar will be a church service in 2nd Ballyeaston Presbyterian Church on the evening of Sunday, March 16.

Albert McClenaghan, the choir’s first conductor, was the precentor at the church and many founder members were also part of the congregation.

The choir’s Gala Anniversary Concert will take place in the Presbyterian Church Buildings, Belfast on Saturday, May 10. Supporting the choir on the night will be the superb talents of Peter Corry and Festival Brass, with conductor Alan Corry.

Tickets for the concert are already on sale at Bert McCormick’s, Main Street, Ballyclare and in Matchetts Classical, Wellington Place, Belfast. Tickets, priced £15 each, are also available from any choir member.

David Hewett, the choir ticket master, can also be contacted either by telephone: 028 9084 1153 or by post: 2 Downhill Avenue, Newtownabbey, BT36 TU. Cheques should be made payable to Ballyclare Male Choir.

Further information about the choir can be found online at www.ballyclaremalechoir.com

• Pictured: Sam Peoples and his wife, Esther with Joe Hamilton at the Ballyclare Male Choir gala dinner. INNT 10-529CON

 
 
 

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