THOMAS Boyd was born on July 19, 1928, and was brought up on his home farm in the townland of Ballylummin, just outside Ahoghill. He is the oldest past member of Ahoghill Young Farmers’ Club, having just celebrated his 93rd birthday.
Tommy joined Ahoghill Young Farmers shortly after the Second World War ended when he would have been about 17-18 years old. Tommy was encouraged to go to Young Farmers with some of his friends who were around the same age. During Tommy’s time in Ahoghill YFC club meetings were held in the Old Lecture Hall at 1st Ahoghill Presbyterian Church. John McClure and Hugh Cameron would have been the club leaders of Ahoghill while Tommy was a member.
In Tommy’s young farmer days he enjoyed taking part in competitions such as cattle judging. Hugh Cameron would have tutored the younger ones when cattle judging was coming up and took them around different farms. The practices helped Tommy prepare for the competitions.
Clubs throughout Northern Ireland com-
peted in area contests. At these area contests there would have been the opportunity to compete as a team of three and also as an individual. Tommy Boyd was in a team alongside William James Craig and Herbie Thompson but also competed as an individual. The team of men won the Ballymena area contest and so progressed to the NI Finals.
One of Tommy’s fond-est memories whilst be-ing a member of Ahoghill YFC was when he was placed second in the NI Finals of the cattle judging in the under
18 age category. The NI
Finals took place at
the Agricultural Research
Institute, in Hillsborough, where 470 competitors, representives of 56
clubs, took part in the various sections such as sheep, poultry and cattle. This was a tremendous achievement considering the distance that needed to be travelled in order to compete.
Ahoghill Young Farmers also ran agricultural shows for a number of years. Tommy recalls that these shows were always good fun despite all of the organisation that had to happen in order to run these shows successfully.
There was cattle judging and hor-se jumping, wh-
ich of course needed to be planned well. The show us-ed to take place in a field on the Straid Road in Ahoghill but it is now a built-up area.
Tommy also re-
called there be-ing inter-club dances during his time in Young Farmers. He enjoyed these nights as he met other young farmer members from different clubs. On some occasions Tommy would have been out until 2am or 3am, so they must have been great evenings.
Tommy would recommend Young Farm-
ers to all of the younger generation regardless of their rural background because of the life-long memories that come from being a member.
There is a vast amount of competitions which are both farming and non-farming related, so there is something to suit everyone.
Tommy will be in attendance at the 90th anniversary dinner of Ahoghill YFC, where he will be cutting the cake alongside the youngest current member. Tommy is no stranger to undertaking this particular role as he cut the cake at the 80th and 85th anniversaries of Ahoghill YFC as well.
The 90th anniversary dinner of Ahoghill YFC will be taking place on Friday, September 10, at Ballyscullion Park, Magh-erafelt. Tickets cost £35 each.
If you would like to purchase tickets, please get in touch with a committee member or contact Club Secretary Ruth Dick on 07522 968738.