Garvagh Young Farmers to mark Diamond anniversary

The New Year is almost here and for Garvagh Young Farmers Club 2013 will be a year of celebration!

2013 will mark the Club’s 75th Anniversary. Roll back the years to the Club’s first meeting in the Creamery Room. There was 31 members affiliated to the Club - roll on 75 years and the Garvagh Young Farmers have over 50 members, and the CLub is going from strength to strength.

Over the years the Club has seen many changes; the introduction of mechanised machinery, the World War, changes in the monarchy and the Millennium.

Many members have come and gone, but if it wasn’t for the founder members the Club may not be reaping the successes it now does.

The founder members, namely Mr R.B. Lyttle MBE JP (President), George Pollock (Club Leader), Samuel Workman (Secretary) and William Currie (Treasurer) laid the building blocks well and as a result the Club is what it is today.

After its first year in office Garvagh YFC continued to grow. And, by the end of the year there were 42 members. Membership retention can still be a problem today, as there are many other clubs and groups for young people to join, but this wasn’t an issue in 1961 as membership then reached an all time high of 116!

In the early days it was very much a male dominated club and it wasn’t until 1946 that ladies were allowed to join.

This again then started a new era for Garvagh YFC. Fighting the way forward for the ladies was Iris Gilmore who was the first female elected to Club Leader and since then many leading ladies have taken on this key role.

When World War II struck it was thought that many of the newly established clubs would have to fold; but not Garvagh!

Garvagh set about organising an ‘Auction of Farm Produce and Dance’ and raised £18 for the Agricultural Red Cross Fund. Garvagh continues to raise money for charities and another notable achievement was in 1986 when Garvagh held a week long bath push around the country and raised over £5,500 for Combat Cancer.

Garvagh has had many great achievements throughout their 75 year history. Some of the earlier achievements are still remarkable by today’s standards. In 1952 John Governor became the first person to win the Prepared and Impromptu Cups at final level.

Garvagh had many successes at YF International stock judging competitions, with members playing an integral part in securing the ‘Daily Mail’ Gold Cup which Edwin Hegarty was a member of and received this coveted cup from the HRH The Queen. S J Morrow was also a member of the Ulster team who won the ‘Scotsman Trophy.’

At Northern Ireland Stock judging level, Garvagh again had many successes, in the late 40’s the club won five out of the six cups for first place. This achievement was built on in 1985 by members winning all sections in the respective age groups and royalty in the form of HRH The Princess Anne was even there to see this.

Garvagh produced many successful members who went on to represent Garvagh at National level, with various members being part of the YFCU Presidential team, board members of Rural Youth Europe, members representing Ulster at the European Rally and members going on international exchange and members being selected for the Ulster team at National stock judging.

To mark this very special anniversary, Garvagh YFC will be holding a dinner on Friday, February 2. The event will be held in the Lodge Hotel. The guest speaker for the evening will be Mrs Pam Robinson.

Tickets are selling fast for the evening, but if you would like to be present then please contact club leader Alfred Clyde (07743069118) or Secretary Stephen McCahon (07809657798) to reserve a place.

Tickets are priced at £25 for adults and £14 for children.

If you have any old photos or memorabilia which could be displayed on the night then please contact either of the above.