Magheragall Senior Citizens’ 20th anniversary

Friday February 9th 2007

Pictured at a dinner in Magheragall Parish Church Hall to mark the 20th anniversary of the Senior Citizens’ Club are: (seated) Elizabeth Hill, Maureen Cheevers, Kitty McCluskey and Annie Maginnis.  (back row) Bobby Cunningham, Rev Raymond McKnight, Rev Nicholas Dark, Rt Rev Alan Harper - Bishop of Connor, Rev Canon Alec Cheevers and Sharon Cunningham.A week of celebrations was held at Magheragall Parish Church to mark the 20th anniversary of the Senior Citizens’ Club.

The celebrations began on January 31 with a dinner, prepared by a catering team from Atlas (Adult Training Learning and Support – Sloan Street, Lisburn), in the Church Hall.

Organised by club leaders Bobby and Sharon Cunningham, guests at the dinner included founder members Elizabeth Hill and Annie Maginnis and former rectors Rev Raymond McKnight and the Rev Canon Alec Cheevers and his wife Maureen. 

Rector’s wives, Maureen Cheevers and Bronwen Dark cut a cake to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Magheragall Parish Senior Citizens’ Club.The special guest was the Rt Rev Alan Harper, Bishop of Connor in his last parish visit before commencing his duties as Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland on February 2.

As well as singing Happy Birthday to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the club those present also sang to celebrate the 85th birthday of club member Kitty McCluskey.

Following the dinner the Rev Raymond McKnight (Rector of Magheragall 1986-1991) said it had been 16 years and five days since he was last in Magheragall church hall, but while there had been changes in the buildings, the Senior Citizens’ had not changed a bit. 

He recalled how the club was formed on February 4 1987, born out of a Parish Focus Day at Glenada House, Newcastle in October the previous year. The five founder members were Elizabeth Hill and Annie Maginnis and the late Violet Fletcher, Jeannie Ruddy and Sally Forsythe. 

Canon Alec Cheevers (Rector of Magheragall 1991-2004) thanked Mr McKnight for starting the club.  Speaking of its gift to the ministry, he recalled many happy Wednesday afternoons spent with the senior citizens and wished them health and happiness to enjoy the fellowship of the club.

The present Rector, the Rev Nicholas Dark, thanked his guests for spending the special day with them and presented Bobby and Sharon Cunningham with a gift in appreciation of their exemplary leadership of the Senior Citizens’ Club.  Sharon spoke of the great satisfaction they got from this leadership role.

The Senior Citizens’ Club celebrations continued on Sunday morning February 4 with a special service in the Church conducted by Rev Dark.  The week of celebrations concluded on February 7 when club members were guests of The Right Worshipful the Mayor, Councillor Trevor Lunn at the Mayor’s Parlour at Lisburn City Council, Lagan Valley Island, Lisburn.

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