A FAMILY, originally from Coleraine have travelled thousands of miles home to donate several items to Causeway Museum Service.
The McCandless family who now live in British Columbia, Canada, hail from the Coleraine area.
At the weekend, the Mayor of Coleraine, Alderman Maurice Bradley accepted a number of treasured belongings from the family on behalf of the Museum Service.
These included family photographs, several of which were taken at the Giant’s Causeway, two medals in a presentation box dating back to 1888 and 1903 and taped interviews recorded in 1990, documenting the family’s history.
The McCandless family were originally weavers.
Anne McCandless married George Gilmore and they had nine children, including Anna Margaret. The family lived at Ballyvennox moving to Fermoyle before three of their children, Thomas, Mary Jane and Anna Margaret finally settled at Fairmount House, Castlerock.
Anna’s brother Thomas was the principal teacher of Ballinrees National School for 38 years and was also heavily involved in Second Dunboe Church.
William, another brother of Anna’s, taught at Ballywildrick School and was considered an exceptional teacher while Anna, who trained as a teacher, often substituted when she was needed.
Thanking the family, the Mayor of Coleraine, Alderman Maurice Bradley, said: “On behalf of Causeway Museum Services, I am most grateful to the McCandless family for returning these items to the Borough.
“Their contribution offers a wonderful insight into the lives of the people living in this area during the late ninetieth and twentieth centuries.”
Sarah Carson, Collection Access Officer for Coleraine Museums highlighted a particular area of interest in the new collection.
“The two medals are of particular significance as these were presented to Anna Margaret McCandless for her first in Mathematics, Chemistry and the General Assembly’s Temperance Examination.
“It would have been extraordinary and exceptionally rare for a woman of this time period to be awarded prizes in the fields Maths and Science.
These items provide a wonderful and unique insight into the education provided in this area and it is a privilege to display them in the borough. “