Fortune favoured the brave as Glenarm villagers gathered in tranquil weather conditions for a dual celebration in the run up to Christmas.
Despite a day of lashing rain and strong winds, Glenarm Village Committee decided to continue with their plans and they were rewarded because by 7.00pm all was calm when the ceremony commenced.
Ann Tinsley, secretary of Glenarm Village Committee, welcomed a large crowd of children, parents and Councillors Alderman Maureen Morrow and Ruth Wilson.
Anne revealed that not only would the Christmas tree lights be switched on, but the recently renovated Bridge Community Hall would be re-opened.
The secretary informed the festive revellers that funding had been secured for the repairs from Causeway Coast and Glens Heritage Trust and Glens of Antrim Landscape Partnership, who work together under the umbrella of the Heritage Lottery Fund to promote local heritage, which includes buildings and landscapes.
She welcomed Graham Thompson, chief executive officer, Causeway Coast and Glens Heritage Trust, and Teresa O’Hare, manager, Glens of Antrim Landscape Partnership, and thanked them for their encouragement and financial support.
Teresa O’Hare, who was asked to switch on the Christmas lights, said that the Landscape Partnership with HLF funding was delighted to have been able to support the community in preserving a local heritage landmark building.
Now restored, it gave the community valuable meeting space. She looked forward to further initiatives in collaboration with the people of Glenarm that celebrate and protect its heritage for years to come.
The lights were switched and the crowd then enjoyed Christmas music from Seaview Primary School Choir.
Santa arrived with goodies for the children while the adults enjoyed a cup of tea or coffee plus hot mince pies.
Teresa gave each child a small gift from the Landscape Partnership.
The refurbished hall was commented upon favourably and thanks and congratulations were offered to Glenarm Village Committee members for their many voluntary hours working to accomplish the high standard of decoration.
New kitchen equipment was supplied through a grant from NIHE (Northern Ireland Housing Executive) and this was greatly appreciated.
Glenarm Village Committee wishes to offer sincere thanks to the crews from Mid and East Antrim Borough Council for their help and support with lights, sound system and of course the installation of the Christmas tree.