Like other clubs in the Province, Coleraine’s activities last season were seriously curtailed by the British foot-and-mouth epidemic.
The club’s Parents’ Night last year was only a fortnight away when the Government’s foot-and-mouth restrictive measures came into force.
“And, after many weeks of hard work in rehearsal for the ‘big day’ it was a bit of a disappointment when we were requested to cancel it indefinitely,” club committee member John Cochrane told me last week.
“We did, however, appreciate fully the seriousness of the problem and were anxious to help in any way we could.”
Six weeks ago, club members began rehearsals for this year’s Parents’ Night with renewed enthusiasm and determination to make this year’s programme even better than those of previous years.
And last week I was one of a crowd of more than 600 parents and friends of the club who witnessed the ‘finished product’.
The programme opened with “Around The World In Song” performed by members of the club choir trained and accompanied by Dorothy Stevenson.
As the title suggests, “Around The World In Song” was a colourful and imaginative item which presented people of contrasting nationalities dressed in their national costume performing songs and tunes associated with their own particular country.
Other items which followed included two light-hearted sketches and acts from club members Linda Connolly and Rex Humphrey. The only visiting entertainers were Robert Wilson (Straid YFC) and Robert Simpson (Castlecaulfield).
Also on the show was an impressive array of silverware won by the club during the past year. It included two of the four major trophies presented annually by YFC headquarters – the other two were not awarded last year because of the foot-and-mouth epidemic – plus many other individual and team plaques, shields, cups and trophies collected by club members over the year.
Mr John Johnston, the well-known broadcaster and a former member of the club who was compere, said that it was not necessary for him to elucidate on the achievements of the Coleraine club.
“It is obvious to everyone,” he said, “that the club is still going from strength to strength and contributing a great deal to the movement.”
Another guest speaker was Mr William Fullerton, president of the YFCU.
During its existence the club has had many notable successes. One feat which has stood unequalled, however, is that of club member John Gilmour who, three times in succession – 1961-63 – won the Young Farmer of the Year Award.