The vision and commitment of the Select Vestry of Dunluce parish was praised during the opening and dedication of a new parish centre.
The centre was opened by special guest Mrs Jillian Clark and dedicated by the Bishop of Connor, the Rt Rev Alan Abernethy.
The original parish hall in Dunluce was built in 1956 and dedicated on November 1 1956. A side extension comprising kitchen, two committee rooms and a store was added in 1984.
In October 2005, the Select Vestry appointed the architectural firm of GM Design Associates, Coleraine, as architect and supervisor of the restoration building project. Following many meetings of the Glebe Committee and Select Vestry, the project got underway in February 2007 with Wilson & Mawhinney the appointed contractor.
In his remarks following the Service of Dedication, rector of Dunluce, the Rev Canon George Graham, warmly thanked and congratulated both Mr Logue (Architect GM Design Assoc) and Mr Sam Wilson of Wilson & Mawhinney Ltd for bringing to completion so successfully a parish centre which the parishioners of Dunluce have good reason to be proud of.
He expressed sincere thanks to Mr Garth Shannon (Foreman Wilson & Mawhinney) and Mr Liam McFadden (Foreman P & L Electrical) for their hard work and commitment to the project.
“Each and every one associated with the building of the Parish Centre, from those in office to those on site, has worked with integrity and rightly deserve our sincere thanks and appreciation,” Canon Graham said.
He stressed, however, that the project would not have seen the light of day if it had not been for the vision and commitment of the Select Vestry to enhance for today's needs what was a wonderful hall built in 1956 and which had served the parish so well through the years.
On behalf of the Select Vestry and Parish he thanked members of the Glebe Committee (Steering Committee) – Mr James McElnay , Mr James Fulton, Mr Ken Caskey, Mr Billy Creighton, Mrs Aileen Gault and Mr Mark Ramage – for their dedication and time given to the project which for them started in May 2005.
Organist at the opening and dedication was Miss Sarah Ramage. Mrs Aileen Gault, Hon Secretary, read, and prayers were led by members of the Sunday Club. The choir performed the anthem "For all the saints in Glory" for St Andrew's Day.
During the service Gifts presented by parishioners were dedicated by Bishop Abernethy.
Rev Stephen Carson ( Dunluce Presbyterian Church) conveyed greetings and blessing on behalf of other churches. Mr James McElnay (Rector's Churchwarden) expressed appreciation and thanks to GM Design Assoc and as a gesture of the Select Vestry's appreciation presented Mr D Logue with a small gift.
Mr Ken Caskey (Rector's Glebewarden) spoke of the Select Vestry's appreciation of the high standards of workmanship both by the contractor Wilson & Mawhinney and that of the sub contractors involved in the project. Mr Caskey presented Mr Wilson with a gift as a gesture of the parish’s appreciation and thanks.
Mr James Fulton spoke of what great honour it was for the Rector, Churchwardens and Select Vestry to have Mrs Jillian Clarke formally open the Parish Centre and had great delight and pleasure in presenting her with a bouquet of flowers.
Bishop Abernethy received, on behalf his wife Liz, a bouquet of flowers from Mr Billy Creighton (Peoples' Glebewarden) and asked that he convey to Dr Abernethy Dunluce’s very good wishes and a speedy recovery.
In his closing remarks Canon Graham thanked Mrs Audrey Clements and the ladies of the parish for their generosity and hard work in providing such a excellent supper. The Bishop concluded with the Blessing.