Finvoy YFC will be celebrating a very special milestone this year – its Platinum Anniversary. However, despite the club having reached well over the pension age, there are no thoughts of retirement in the minds of its hard-working and successful members.
From its humble beginnings which stretch back to a meeting held in Keers Memorial Hall on Thursday 21st October 1941, the club has gone from strength to strength with successes at Club, County and Northern Ireland level and indeed much further afield.
A trip down memory lane......
With the Platinum Anniversary approaching, its time to sit back and look at the successes, reminisce about old times and hopefully establish contact with those who contributed to the life of the club over the past seven decades. The Club will be holding a memorabilia night on Monday 5th September at 8pm in Finvoy Presbyterian Church Hall to allow for past and present members, friends and family to look back at Finvoy’s successes over the past 70 years. If anyone has any old photographs or memorabilia they would like to contribute for this evening then please get in touch with Club PRO Rachel Campbell as soon as possible.
Finvoy on tour....
Over the years world-wide travel has played a major role in the lives of many members of Finvoy Young Farmer’s Club. Alan Campbell was the first member to embark on a long term exchange to Canada back in June 1982. Since then Canada has remained a popular destination for Finvoy members with Stephanie Fulton and David Dunlop representing the YFCU on exchange there in 2007 and 2008. More recently Richard Beattie represented Finvoy on this year’s YFCU Junior Exchange to Sweden.
Each year the YFCU create a theme which each Young Farmers’ Club follow through in their meetings and may interpet in their own style. The theme for 2011-2012 is “Members” which is very relevant to our 70th Anniversary because if it wasn’t for the hard work and dedication of our members Finvoy would not be the successful club it is today.
Finvoy plays a very active role within the YFCU organisation and in the last five years has won the Efficiency Shield for the most efficient club in Co.Antrim three times.
Within the County Finvoy members have for a long time been involved, holding important positions of responsibility such as Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer. In the last few years Stephanie Fulton and Jonathan Campbell have achieved the award for Most Efficient Public Relations Officer in the YFCU. Stephanie was also successful in achieving Most Efficient Secretary and Martyn Blair was awarded Most Efficient Club Leader in 2010 – a brilliant achievement. At this year’s AGM and Conference Martyn, who has held many positions of responsibility in the club and County Committee was successful in running for Deputy President of the YFCU – this is an excellent example of Finvoy’s success across the whole organisation.
It’s not all welly boots and tractors....
One of the biggest misconceptions about Young Farmers is that they are filled with people wearing welly boots talking about tractors, cows and sheep. However, Finvoy YFC have shown over the years that they have many strings to their collective bow. They have taken part in the YFCU Arts Festival competition for 44 years and in that time have achieved many successes, performing in Arts Festival Gala’s in prestigious venues such as the Waterfront Hall, the Millennium Forumn and the Ulster Hall. Their most memorable productions have been due to the creativity and enthusiasm of producers William Tweed and his wife Leah and more recently producer Jonathan Hanna.
Throughout the years Finvoy has also been successful in its participation in the YFCU 1 Act Drama Festival. In 2006 the clubs performance of “The Platform Party” swept the boards winning Best Play and Best Theatrical Moment. Samantha Williams was awarded a Merit for Production while Neal McGinley and Martyn Blair achieved Merits for Acting and Stephanie Fulton scooped the award for Most Promising Actress. Again in 2008 Finvoy’s performance of “The Old Chest” was a top hit winning Best Play. Stephanie again won Most Promising Actress and Martyn Blair won Most Promising Actor. Samantha Williams and Stephanie Fulton were awarded for their excellent production skills winning Best Producers.
Finvoy members have also excelled in public speaking, group debating, stock judging, floral art, home management and many other aspects of the club and county competitions.
To commemorate 70 years of this thriving club, members are organising a reunion dinner of past and present members, parents and friends. The dinner will be held in the Royal Court Hotel, Portrush on Saturday 22nd October. It is expected that many memories will be relived on this evening.
Tickets are now available and are priced at £25. Please contact Club Secretary Ruth Dunlop for tickets or speak to any club member and furthermore if you have any memorabilia you wish to contribute please contact Rachel Campbell.