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26 November 2011

Doagh Christmas Tree Lights Switched On

Switching on '11 018.JPGSanta Claus visited the village of Doagh on Thursday 24 November 2011 to help with the switching on of the Christmas Tree lights. The job was done, and Santa distributed his presents to the young people gathered around the tree but in the miiddle of the commuunity Christmas Carol singing te heavens opened!

However the torrential rain didn't seem to dampen the spirits of the large crowd who attended the ceremony. Newtownabbey Borough Council's platform party, especially the two clergymen and the Deputy Mayor pressed on regardless and the lights were swwitched on by two local children. The Carol singing was led by some Chior members from St Bride's Parish Church and their organist, Mark. Seasonal music was provided by a willing band of musicians. The short service, celebrating the Gift of Christmas, combined with Santa's visit and the singing madee the occasion a memorable occasion. This is the first time that the light switching on ceremony had taken place at night. It was by far the largest turnout with a marked increase in thhe number of men attending, who would otherwise have been at work during the daytime switching on ceremonies of the past. All in all it was a real "Family Affair".

Because of the bad weather the next part of the proceedings was transferred to the Torrens Hall. The two village Chip Shops, Cornerstone Cafe and Cafe Thornton, delivered warming portions of chips to the families who had gathered there and Doagh Village Community Association provided seasonal Mulled Wine and soft drinks. All of this was just what was required to warm up the drookit, shivering villagers.

Switching on '11 016.JPGThe event was really well received by those villagers who managed to attend the proceedings. The overwhelming feedback would indicate that the evening "Switch On" combined with the supper afterwards was a positive way forward that should be repeated in future years. It was originally planned that the Mulled Wine and chips would be served in the square, but "Plan 2" had to be put in operation and proceedings were transferred to the Torrens Hall because of the heavy rain.

05 November 2011

Opening of New Hall at Church of the Sacred Heart, Ballyclare

The public were invited to visit the new hall at Church of the Sacred Heart in Ballyclare on Saturday 5 November 2011.

The opening of the hall was part of the centenary celebrations of the present church which was dedicated by Bishop Tohill on 11 June 1911.

The church in Ballyclare dates back to the 18th Century and in 1832 Bishop Crolly built new churches in Greencastle and Ballyclare in 1832. This church in Ballyclare eventually became unable to cope with demand and plans were made to re-build a larger church. Father Marmion oversaw the construction of what is now present day church. It was rennovated again in 2002.

The New Hall , the Church and the Parochial House now blend together superbly to form a truly beautiful and comfortable spiritual and family base for the local congregation.