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20 December 2009

Carol Service at Kilbride Parish Church........Sunday, 20 December '09

St Brides Carol Service 011.JPG

15 December 2009

Christmas Decorations for Doagh Village


DVCA members have spent the past two weeks manufacturing Christmas Street Decorations to add a little festive spirit to the village. The materials for the decorations were made from the off-cuttings from Christmas trees already "dressed" ready for sale to families throughout the area. Logwood Garden Center was kind enough to give us these cuttings to help us with the project. The other materials consisted of small cardboard boxes collected from households, all of which at one time contained such items as tea, toothpaste, paracetamol, biscuits, sweets etc etc. These were wrapped in brightly colored foil paper and ribbon before being attached to a Christmas Tree "Fan". Everything was assembled using cable ties.

Around fifty of these decorations were attached to lamp posts around the village, just underneath the hanging basket brackets.

This was done on Monday 14 December. It is hoped that the decorations will add a little Christmas Spirit to the heart of Doagh through the festive period.

The decorations are so easily made that the DVCA members felt the whole concept could be expanded in the future to include gates, shop fronts and suitable areas in the various housing estates. If everyone participated in. .. .. .. the future then the whole community would benefit more. There is little or no cost involved as most of the materials would be discarded anyway.

We were heartened as we installed the decorations throughout the village as so many people came forward to give us positive feedback. Some thought that the Council provided the decorations and were surprised to learn that all of them Had been made by local people. In fact Newtownabbey Borough Council did give us a contribution towards the costs we incur but we feel that it represented good value for money at a mere fraction of the cost of Providing a commercial product. As well as that, it gave us all tremendous satisfaction in taking our own initiative on the matter.

When some of the members of DVCA went to Brittany last winter to attend the first winter concert of our friends in Mont-Dol we noticed how every community took great pride in decorating their own villages. They too manufactured their decorations and displayed them in the middle of each village. They have been doing this for many years and now it has become something of a tradition. There are some "lights" provided by the local councils but this is always augmented by community effort. It's not always necessary to festoon streets with colored lights. Homemade decorations can have a similar impact.

We hope that our efforts are appreciated by all who live in and pass through the village and we look forward to expanding the project in 2010.


14 December 2009

Night of "Music & Craic" at Kilbride Parish Church, Doagh


A superb charity fund-raising evening of "Music and Craic" took place at St Bride's Parish Church Hall, Doagh on Saturday evening, 12 December. It was hosted by the Premier Accordian and Fiddle Club with a variety of guest performers. The guest artists were the inimitable Tom Andrew, Wilfie and Isobel Crowe and Norman Cairns (on banjo and cello, but not at the same time!)

MC for the evening was David Ray of the Ray Brothers from Holestone, both are members of the Premier Accordian and Fiddle Club.

The performances were an enchanting mixture of toe-tapping music, comedy, much loved songs and hilarious monologues.

At the interval for refreshments there was a raffle for a huge variety of prizes donated by many well-wishers and supporters.

The concert came to an end with a song from a guest player with the Premier Accordian and Fiddle Club, Michael McCullough. He sang unaccompanied and seated from the back of the band. It was a really poignant performance. You could literally have heard a pin drop! He used his beautiful mellow voice to give a rendition of the song "A Silent Night Christmas 1915", a description of events as the unrelenting noise and carnage of battle ceased on Christmas Eve 1915. A young German soldier sung "Silent Night" as the other soldiers from both sides joined in. The original recording however fails to capture the palpable, hushed and reflective atmosphere on Saturday night as people listened to the words and message of the song.

There are a few photographs taken at the concert in the blog's albums at the side. This should revive the memories of anyone who attended.

Another evening of "Music and Craic" will take place in the early spring. I would urge you to attend, you'll love it!

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