The biggest ever Scouting event in Lisburn took place on Sunday April 22 when more than 1,500 Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorer Scouts from across Co Antrim held their St George’s Day parade.
Special services were held in three Lisburn city centre churches as part of the Scour movement’s ongoing Centenary celebrations.
Organised by the Lisburn & District Scouts, the service for the Beaver Section was held in Railway Street Presbyterian Church, the service for the Cub Section in Lisburn Cathedral and the service for Scout and Explorer Scout Sections in First Lisburn Presbyterian Church.
The Rev John Brackenridge conducted the main service in First Lisburn Presbyterian Church and welcomed the scouts, Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson, Deputy Mayor – Councillor James Tinsley, Lt Colonel Sandy Cramsie and former local Commissioners.
Tom Whyte on organ and the First Lisburn praise team led the worship, which included ‘The Scout Hymn’. Irene Richer (1st Lisburn GSL) and Ronnie Cartmill (1st Lisburn SL) read the Scripture lessons and Scouts – Ben Brackenridge (1st Lisburn), Jack Roach (6th Lisburn) and Andrew Reid (1st Hillsborough) led prayers for the Centenary of Scouting.
Ian Craig, a former County Commissioner (1997-2002) spoke about the development of Scouts over the last 100 years and his hopes for the future and Noel Irwin (District Commissioner – Lisburn & District Scouts) led the renewal of promises. During the service, an offering was taken to support Children’s Cancer Research.
Matt Craig (First Lisburn) and Deepak Sampson (Railway Street) conducted the Beaver Section service in Railway Street Presbyterian Church. Tim Howe on organ led the praise. Mandy Gilmore (BSL 1st Seymour Hill) and Jacqui Hylands (BSL 1st Hillsborough) read the Scripture lessons and Beaver Scouts – Connor Mason (Annahilt), Jamie Hewitt (1st Hilden) and Nathan Howe (1st Ballymacash) led the prayers. Stephen O’Neill (Assistant County Commissioner Beavers) and Margaret Irwin (Assistant District Commissioner Beavers – Lisburn and District Scouts) led the renewal of promises. During the service, an offering was taken to support the installation of Children’s incubators in the Royal Victoria Hospital.
The Rev Kenneth McGrath conducted the Cub Section service in Lisburn Cathedral and Jason Parker and David Brattle led the praise. Kyle Cross (1st Derriaghy) and James Brogan (1st Hillhall) read the Scripture lessons and Adam McNeill (1st Lisburn), David Ruddell (2nd Lisburn) and Dylan Stewart (1st Ballymacash) led the prayers. Billy McCullough (Assistant County Commissioner Cubs) and David Hilland (Assistant District Commissioner Cubs – Lisburn and District Scouts) led the renewal of promises. During the Service, an offering was taken to support the Positive Futures charity, which provides personal and social development for young people with learning disabilities.
After the services the entire County Antrim scout sections reassembled for the return to Wallace Park where Ian Craig (former County Commissioner) praised all those who turned out and dismissed the parade.
Report and photos by John Kelly.