Minutes of Craigavon Historical Society AGM
held on Tuesday 20 September 2011
in Craigavon Civic Centre.

The Society's Chairman, Miss Rosalind Hadden welcomed all those present, thanking them for coming to the AGM on such a nice evening. It was an encouragement to see so many at the AGM and she knew the lecture following on "Townlands" would prove to be well worthwhile coming to.

Apologies were received from Mr Edward and Mrs Primrose Wilson.

The minutes of the previous year's AGM held on 21 September 2010 were read and approved.

Chairman's Business

Miss Hadden expressed her delight at our success with this year's Review and asked members to start gathering thoughts for articles for the next Review which will be published in 2012/2013. She then expressed her gratitude for the work of the committee throughout the past year saying that like the swan on a lake the work was always going on beneath the surface. She reminded those present that the Society is well on the way to our 50th anniversary and asked members to start thinking how this might be celebrated?

Miss Hadden expressed thanks on behalf of the Society to Craigavon Borough Council for their financial assistance towards our various endeavours through the Good Relations Small Grants scheme and also to Museum Services for their funding towards the Philip Wilson Memorial Lecture.

She also announced a Walking Tour of several of Portadown's churches on Thursday 29 September. This is being organised by the Ulster Historical Churches Trust and will be led by Mr Manus Deery from the Northern Ireland Environmental Agency.

Honorary Treasurer's Report

Mr Alastair Uprichard submitted a written report to each of those present and invited questions of which there were none.

Honorary Secretary's Report

Mr John Trimble reported another successful year of lectures and outings and expressed his gratitude on behalf of the Society for the hard work of the committee.

Atkinson History Award

Miss Elaine Hill Curator of Craigavon Museum Services reported on the pilot competition thanking the other members in the sub group, Mrs Brenda Thompson, Mr Colin Baxter and Mr Alastair Uprichard for their help and expertise. The competition has a Local history focus with an intergenerational element i.e. young people asking their elders about their past experiences. Using Key stage 2 pupils aged 5-7 years the timescale was from October to February. Winners were as follows:- 1st Kings Park Primary School Lurgan. Primary 6 produced a Memories booklet and a DVD. Prize £100. 2nd St Mary's Primary School Derrytrasna. P5 produced Art work on local townlands. Prize £50. Commended. Hart Memorial Primary School Portadown.

P6 produced a Collage showing changes in Portadown over the last 100 years. The competition begins again on 4 October and there is interest from local schools.

Teachers who have participated have found the competition to be worthwhile as it encourages the Local History element in their syllabus.

Election of Officers and Committee

Mr Eric Paveley as presiding officer declared all posts vacant. He announced that Dr Frank McCorry and Mr Alastair Uprichard (past honorary treasurer) have both indicated that they wish to resign from the committee but otherwise the present members of the Committee had indicated that they were willing to serve for another year.

  • Mr Paveley asked if it was the wish of the meeting that the Committee should be elected en bloc and this was agreed. This was proposed by Mr Finny O'Sullivan and seconded by Mrs Ann Trimble and agreed by the meeting.
  • Mr John Trimble proposed that Mrs Helen McClenaghan be elected to the committee and this was seconded by Mr Colin Baxter and agreed by the meeting.

    No other nominations were proposed for the Committee.

  • Chairperson (currently Miss Rosalind Hadden). Miss Hadden was proposed by Mr Jack Gilpin, seconded by Mrs Elizabeth Lutton and elected unopposed
  • Honorary Treasurer: Mr William Fulton was proposed by Mr Colin Baxter, seconded by Mr Harold Martin and elected unopposed.
  • Hon. Secretary (currently Mr John Trimble). Mr Trimble was proposed by Mr Brian Cassells, seconded by Mr William Fulton and elected unopposed.

Other Business

Mr Trimble expressed thanks to Mr Paveley for conducting the election.

At this point there was a break for tea and biscuits.

Philip Wilson Memorial Lecture - 2011

Mrs Florence Gracey introduced our speaker for the evening Dr Brian Turner, former Curator of Downpatrick Museum and long time member and friend of the Craigavon Historical Society - he first visited us in Killicomaine School talking on the subject of Family History. Mrs Gracey also said how delighted we are to have Philip Wilson's son Jonathan in the audience tonight at the Lecture which is in memory of his father.

Dr Turner began by also saying how good it was of Jonathan to come from Howth and said that he and his friend Philip Wilson (Jonathan's father) had a shared belief in "knowing our places." In his talk he explained how Townlands of which there are 62,000 in Ireland have been under threat for 40 years - "How did we let it happen?" The naming of roads was to the detriment of Townlands and it is important to keep Townlands in the mouths and lands of the people because the largest body of the Irish language left is in our Townlands.

Other parts of the British Isles have not suffered the same fate, nor have other countries. It began because the Post Office wanted every house to have a name and number and was based on an area of Croydon, a suburb of London!

Dr Turner illustrated his talk with pictures showing examples of Townland and road markings which did not always relate to each other causing great confusion. He said The Federation of Local studies has sought to keep the names of Townlands alive and some Local Councils record Townland names on road signs, a worthwhile exercise.

Dr Turner urged us all to see the subject of Townland names not as a narrow interest but rather we should realise that they tell us something about our own environment and they can only be preserved by use. This was a most interesting and informative lecture.

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