THE MAGHERA HISTORICAL SOCIETY,
OPEN GENERAL MEETING.
The Maghera Historical Society made history itself when it held its first Open General Meeting in the Link last Monday, 10th November, at 7.30pm. Well attended by a group of enthusiastic supporters, the meeting marked a new step in the progression of the Society, which has now been put on to a formal footing. This will consolidate its present position and ensure its further development and growth in the years that lie ahead. Joseph McCoy, as facilitator for the evening, welcomed all those who attended. He, and a number of other like minded people from the area, were the inspiration behind the founding of the organisation. Joseph began the evening by explaining the reasons why the society was necessary and gave an insight into how it originally started. In conjunction with the Geneaology Society the Maghera Historical Society was set up to celebrate and preserve the memories and history of the town, from buildings and monuments through to old photographs, artefacts and the memories and history of the people who live there and to assist with the compilation of a family tree. It also exists to provide a forum for everybody who is interested to meet and take part in various events and social gatherings. After putting together a script for a very successful History Trail featured on Lesser Spotted Ulster some years ago Joseph realised there was a huge demand for such events and a large pool of people with knowledge to share so the organisation was born and adopted the name The Maghera Historical Society. The initial and subsequent popularity of the society can be seen by the scale of response to the facebook page, 1900 friends and followers and counting! Now it is the task of the newly formed society to convert them all into fully subscripted members. There have also been a series of well attended events run since its inception, the most recent being the atmospheric Haunted Tour which had something for young and old.
The meeting on Monday evening advanced the organisation of the Society onto a more structured level. With a little guidance and advice from James Armour, originally from The Beagh, the Society is now well on the way to becoming a constituted and legal organisation with a democratically elected group of office-bearers to carry out and act upon the wishes of the membership. The majority agreed that the name should remain as ‘The Maghera Historical Society’. The newly formed group will, in the near future, make application for charitable status. The election of office bearers took place with the following being elected to the respective positions for the coming year until the Annual General Meeting in November 2015.
Chairperson Joseph McCoy
Vice Chairperson Denver Boyd
Honorary Secretary James Armour
Honorary Treasurer John Marquess
PRO Joseph McCoy
Committee Patrick Rafferty, William Sufferin, Izchel Boyd, Bruce Clark, Kate
Lagan, Fergal Cudden, Brendan Convery, Peter Etherson.
The chairperson welcomed all the office bearers on board. The meeting then moved on to discuss proposed events for 2015. A wide range of subjects was covered. These included hosting an Open Day where buildings around the town, not usually accessible to the public would welcome visitors, the official Launch of the Society, the preparation of a brochure with a designated Heritage Trail throughout the town and conducted Walking Tours. Other ideas were Lectures and Workshops, projects involving the pupils from local primary and secondary schools, introductory presentations made to Youth Groups and the historical re-enactments of significant events. There was great interaction within the meeting and it was suggested that a members’ newsletter and an annual magazine be compiled, featuring articles submitted by members and supported by old photographs. A 250 page book titled ‘From the Beagh to Maghera’ by James Armour and based on his early childhood in the Beagh growing up on the family farm will be published by the Society in early Spring. The first official event for the new society will be a stall at the pre- Christmas Market on 22nd November in the town. A new website is being designed and constructed and will be operational in the very near future.
The chairperson also acknowledged the great work being done by the Business Forum and the Geneaology Society thanking them for all their help and looked forward to continued co-operation. He also confirmed that all suggestions and ideas put forward by the meeting will be discussed and acted upon by the new committee during their term of office. It was agreed that the night was the start of a whole new chapter in the history of Maghera. So if you would like to learn more about the town and feel you have something to offer or simply wish to enjoy a new and interesting social outlet get in touch. Membership is open to everyone with categories to suit including: Standard £20, Family £30, Senior £10, Full Time Student/Unwaged £5, Junior: Free. Application for membership can be accessed by contacting the Treasurer by email firstname.lastname@example.org, or the Secretary email@example.com. or the Chairperson firstname.lastname@example.org