After a quarter of a century, Holestone Young Farmers’ Club has outshone the hopes of its founder-members, said Mr James Baird, one of the guests at the club’s silver anniversary dinner in Larne last week.
Mr Baird, a former permanent secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture and the first president of the Holestown club, added: “The club has, like most others, experienced its share of ups and downs over the last 25 years but at present is flourishing as strong as ever.”
He went on to play tribute to the Ulster YFC movement and described the YFCU as “perhaps the foremost and most important youth organisation in the country”.
It has created an atmosphere which very few other clubs and organisations had succeeded in doing, he said.
Mr Baird pointed out that although the club had officially been formed in 1944, it had existed since the late 1920s when it was a junior club under the auspicies of the local Ulster Farmers’ Union branch. Together with Limavady and Ballywalter, Holestone was one of the first Young Farmers’ Clubs to be formed.
Also present at the function was Mr William Fullerton, president of the YFCU, who said that the club had passed through successful times and those which he described as “not so successful”.
“Nevertheless, I’m delighted to say that the present club members are tremendously enthusiastic and the club is going from strength to strength.”
Mr Arthur McAlister, secretary of the YFCU, said that it was amazing what young people could achieve provided they were given the opportunity.
“Ulster needs young people of such calibre, especially at the present time,” he stated.
Sinclair Robson, club leader, traced the growth of the club during the last 25 years and praised all those who had given up their time to be of assistance.
Gloria Reid, secretary, proposed a toast to the guests. She mentioned particularly Mr Owen Minford, who had served the club for the past seven years as president.
Mrs McAlister presented awards for successes in YFCU competitons over the past year.