Celebrations mark BB anniversary

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Six decades on and Fifth Portadown (Tartaraghan) Boys’ Brigade Company is going from strength to strength.

Tartaraghan Boy’s Brigade Company continues to celebrate it’s 60th year with a service of praise and thanksgiving for the work of the Company, which will take the form of a ‘Big Sing’ this year and will be on Sunday February 4 at 6pm in Tartaraghan Parish Church.

All sections will be taking part and a number of people who have been associated with the Company, past and present will be introducing their favourite hymns. A warm welcome will be extended to all.

Tartaraghan Boys’ Brigade, the fifth Company formed in the Portadown battalion, notched up a significant milestone on Sunday 19th November 2017 when over 60 boys’ and 10 Officers and helpers joined with dozens of former members, friends in relatives in celebrating the Company’s 60th enrolment service.

There was standing room only in St Paul’s Parish Church, Tartaraghan and Canon David Hilliard, Rector, preached the sermon whilst the current Captain, Mr David Cardwell welcomed all those in attendance. The first Captain, Mr Marshall Matchett told everyone how it all began and the lessons were read by Andrew Rodgers from the Company Section and Mr Alan Robinson, former officer.

Mrs Julie Cardwell paid a fitting tribute to Ross Capper, Company Section member who tragically died as a result of an accident.

The Joseph Forde Memorial Pipe Band, were well turned out and led the parade to and from the church.

“It was a very happy occasion for all involved and brought back many memories for our past members and Officers,” said David Cardwell, Company Captain. He went on to say that “over the years we have had a very close knit Company and have been well supported by both the boys’ and their parents’ and we hope this will continue over the next 60 years.”

The Company’s 60th enrolment service brought to an end a weekend of celebrations. David Cardwell said, “The photographic exhibition, which looked back at the last 60 years of the Company in photographs, was extremely successful and gave everyone the opportunity to renew acquaintances and relive their memories.”

The Fifth Portadown (Tartargahan) Boys’ Brigade has come a long way since its formation in 1957. The Company was founded by Canon Mortimer, the then rector of St Paul’s Church. Mr Marshall Matchett was appointed the first Captain and Mr Joe Trueman was the first lieutenant. Within a short period of time the company was well on its way to becoming an integral part of the battalion and members took part in a wide range of activities from drill to physical education at every level possible.

In 1976 the Company Section was joined by a Junior Section with Mrs Isobel Boyce appointed as Officer in Charge. The section’s first lieutenants were Georgina Matchett, Mary Richardson and Lynda Martin. Four years later the Robins (or Anchor Boys) as they are now known were formed with Miss Joan McAdam (McMenemy) being appointed as Officer in Charge and she was assisted by Miss Janet Capper.

During the six decades there have been six Captains. Marshall was succeeded by his brother Harry who held the post for 19 years. Mr Samuel Neill, took over the mantle in 1990 and served as Captain until Mr Paul Graham took up the post for a period of two years. Paul was followed by David Neill until the current Captain was put in place in 2012.

Since then the Company has reintroduced both the President’s Badge and the Queen’s Badge to the Company and a number of camps, firstly for Company Section Boys’ and then for Junior Section Boys’, have been held, the most recent being in Bushmills earlier this year.

One of the highlights of recent years has been the Company’s Invitation to represent the Boys’ Brigade at the Annual Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph in London in 2016. The Company was represented by Julie Cardwell and Amy Little, two of the first female lieutenants to have been involved in this occasion, and they were accompanied by two Company Section Boys’, Andrew Rodgers and Adam Capper.

Today the Company is a thriving organisation which boasts over 60 members and is led by small team of dedicated officers. Mrs Julie Cardwell is Officer in Charge of the Anchor Boy Section and she is ably assisted by Mrs Laura Calvin, Miss Amy Little, Miss Christine Hobson, Miss Anna Winter and Miss Laura Winter. Mrs Emma Porter is Officer in Charge of the Junior Section and she is ably assisted by Mrs Gail Higginson and Mrs Leanne Odgers. Mr Tom Moore assists the current Captain and Rector with the Company Section. It is worthy of note that many of the Company’s Officers have been long serving, with Julie Cardwell having served over 32 years with the Anchor Boy Section and Mrs Emma Porter having served 16 years with the Junior Section.

David Cardwell went on to say that “the Company was ready to move ahead into the future and wished to thank everyone involved with the Company over the last six decades for their support and encouragement.”