Harold Patterson MBE
Harold Patterson MBE pictured with his supportive
Lisburn businessman Harold Patterson has been named in the New
Year's honours list. He has been awarded an MBE for services to
young people and to the community in Lisburn. Harold Patterson's
services to young people and to the community are evident in: 60
years of service to Youth, 54 years of services to the Church,
over 57 years of services to Business and last but by no means
least - his archive cine-film contribution to the History of
Services to YOUTH
Harold Patterson's services to YOUTH, commenced about 60
years ago when as a Christian in his early teens he became a
Sunday School Teacher and was involved with 'Youth for Christ'.
Harold and Meta Patterson were married in Dublin in a Quakers
Meeting House in 1957 and moved to 'Argyll House' on the
Limehill Road, outside Lisburn. They wanted to get to know other
Christians, so they held 'squash' evenings in their home once a
month on a Saturday evening. They invited anybody and everybody,
and with up to sixty young people attending, it really was a
'SQUASH'. The fellowship was great and different speakers came
and gave very interesting talks.
In July 1966, a summer camp was organised in Donegal for most of
a week, assisted by leaders from the Saturday night 'squash,'
this was the first of 33 years of camps. There were about sixty
young people at the first camp, the girls slept in the Manse
house and the boys slept in the cow byre. They all ate in a
large marquee and Michael Perrott was the guest speaker. The aim
of the camp was to challenge young people about their Christian
faith and encourage a new commitment to Jesus Christ.
The Y club operated from a former Y.W.C.A. hostel called Pim
House, at 3 Wallace Avenue, in Lisburn. The building, which was
nearly 120 years old, acted as a home for young women over the
decades. The Y.W.C.A. hostel, which housed up to 15 girls at one
time, was founded in memory of Miss Anna Pim, a Quaker lady who
devoted her life to helping others. Despite the success of the
hostel, the demand began to wane in the early 1970's and it
slowly became used more for elderly people, than its original
purpose. The Y.W.C.A. decided to close the Hostel.
Meta Patterson was a committee member of the Hostel, so with the
help of Harold Patterson and Michael Perrott (then Y.M.C.A.
secretary, Belfast) a new committee was formed, and the Y club
was born. Almost '15,000 was spent renovating the inside of the
building, walls taken down etc. and in October 1976 the Y Club
was opened. The American Lunar 15 astronaut, Col. Al Worden,
officially opened the club on 6th April 1977.
The Inter Church youth camps were the highlight of the year for
many young people. Annual Easter camps held in Ballycastle
Primary School were packed out with 120 young
people attending. The one-week summer camps were held in
different schools in Scotland. Special guest speakers were very
important and were chosen to communicate with the young campers
and many lives were changed.
After the campers returned home many of them took part in the
Sunday evening service at Railway Street Presbyterian Church and
gave interesting humorous reports. The service was always well
attended by both the congregation and the campers.
A Sunday Night Youth Fellowship (S.N.Y.F) which was held in
Railway Street Church's Minor Hall, ran for 20 successful years,
from 1976 to 1996. Led by leaders from the Y Club, the hall was
packed to capacity each week. With a varied programme, which
included lively music, singing, drama and Bible teaching, it was
an extremely popular venue for the young people. On many
evenings the members visited Harold and Meta Patterson's home at
Limehill Road, for tea, coffee, Bible study, praise and prayer.
For a full history of the Y Club, go to:
Services to the CHURCH
Harold Patterson has contributed over 55 years of exemplary
service to the CHURCH. Both Harold and his wife Meta are
regular attenders at Railway Street Presbyterian Church. Harold
was ordained as an Elder on 25th May 1950 and his long service
was recognised a few years ago at a function attended by the
minister and Office Bearers of Railway Street. Over the years,
the Kirk Session and Church Committee have benefited greatly
from the great wealth of knowledge he contributes at monthly
meetings. For many years, he served as Convenor of the Property
Committee. About 25 years ago he introduced the tape ministry
providing audio recordings of the Church services to those who
are unable to attend Church.
Services to BUSINESS
Harold Patterson has contributed over 57 years of service to
BUSINESS in Lisburn. After leaving Wallace High School, he
started working in his father's shop
which was founded in 1926. Harold was 19 years old when his
father died in 1949, leaving himself and his younger brother
Hubert to run the family business.
The Smyth Patterson Department Store in Market Square, Lisburn,
has made a tremendous contribution to town-centre shopping. It
is a superb shop, selling everything from a screw nail to the
finest piece of home furnishing.
Services to HISTORY
Harold Patterson has made an everlasting service to the
HISTORY of Lisburn. As a 23 year-old camera club enthusiast,
together with other club members, he took cine-films of Lisburn in 1953 that now features in two
historic films produced by the BBC and shown several times on
BBC television. One of the films, entitled 'Our Town' even shows
the congregation of Railway Street Church after a morning
service in 1953.
The second film, entitled 'A Royal Occasion' shows the Queen's
visit to Lisburn in 1953, shortly after her Coronation. Harold
had to obtain special permission from the Police to make this
film. For years to come, the films will provide irreplaceable
history of life in Lisburn in the early 1950's.
Harold Patterson took cine-films at each Inter Church camp from
1966 to 1984, which have been transferred to a 1'-hour video
giving a clear understanding of their enormous popularity. The
video, narrated by Harold and Meta's son Trevor, shows camp
venues that include Donegal, Scotland, Ballycastle and Kilkeel.
For many years to come, the video film will provide evidence of
the many hundreds of young people who enjoyed great fun and
Christian fellowship during many years of inter church youth camps
hosted by Harold and Meta Patterson.
Services to the COMMUNITY
Harold Patterson's services to the COMMUNITY have
undoubtedly brought a distinction and quality of life not only
to Lisburn but now, even further afield. Many past members of
the Y Club are now married with children, and some are living
overseas. As parents and leaders in various Church
organisations, they are now passing on their solid Christian
foundation gained at the Y Club, to their children and to the
next generation of young people in the whole community of the
City of Lisburn and beyond.
His services to the community are further evident in his
involvement with the blind. Thirty years ago, Harold and Meta
were instrumental in forming the TORCH Fellowship Group for the
Last but by no means least Harold Patterson has served the
community of Lisburn in the honourable position of Justice of
the Peace for over 30 years.
Harold and Meta Patterson, who now live in Lisburn city centre,
have three grown up children and four grandchildren.
Many congratulations to Harold Patterson in receiving such a well