Pupils from Ballymacward and McKinney Primary Schools signing in the choir
Santa waves farewell - until next year!
DUNDROD: Formed in 2001, Dundrod and District Rural Community Association celebrated its 10th Birthday at its Annual Community Christmas events this month.
Over 100 local folk came together for a Christmas lunch in the Ballymac Hotel when Primary 2 & 3 classes from Ballymacward Primary School sang carols enthusiastically to the diners. Mrs. Thompson, former principal of McKinney Primary School and one of the founders of the community group, attended the lunch and brought encouraging greetings:
"I was thrilled to be invited here" she said. ' J have very fond memories of Dundrod and can hardly believe it is 10 years since myself, the Rev Brackenridge and Mr McCaffrey went along to the council to find out how to set up a community group.
From the very first meeting held in the Primary School there was overwhelming support and interest from local people. Over the years I officiated at many Annual General Meetings and the election of committee. I was always impressed by the makeup of the volunteers — people of all ages, from different backgrounds, different faiths, male, female, people who have lived a long time in Dundrod and some more new to the area.
"Dundrod now has flowers in Summer and a Christmas Tree in December and many community events and initiatives in between. I wish you all continued success for the next 10 years and beyond."
The Christmas celebrations continued later the same evening with the lighting of the Christmas Tree. Rev John Brackenridge, former minister of Dundrod Presbyterian Church, went along to join in the festivities again bringing encouraging words to the locals gathered and the community association committee.
A big crowd gathered outside Bamford Park to sing carols led by Dundrod Silver Band. Children from McKinney Primary and Ballymacward Primary formed a joint choir.
Deputy Mayor William Leathem did the honours switching on the lights.
The highlight of the evening was of course the arrival of Santa on his quad driven sleigh escorted to the venue by community police officers.
The evening ended with seasonal refreshments for everyone with hot chocolate, mulled apple juice, mince pies and shortbread on the menu.
Deputy Mayor William Leathem takes in the Christmas atmosphere at the lighting of the tree in Dundrod.
Some of the crowd who gathered in Bamford Park for the lighting of the Christmas Tree.