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Kennedy opens Scout Exhibition Centre in Newry

Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy MLA has officially opened 1st Newry (Earl Kilmorey) Scout Group’s Exhibition Centre and launched their book last Friday 23 November 2012.

Minister Kennedy, who was a former member of the Scouting Movement himself, was the guest of honour at the Newry Scout Hall along with over 140 invited guests.

The Scout Hall in Sandy’s Street was packed to capacity as former Scouts and friends of the group joined to celebrate the launch of a 352 page book and opening of their unique exhibition museum. Indeed, the Scouting Exhibition Centre is believed to be the first of its kind in Northern Ireland, if not Ireland.

Group Chairman Alan McGaffin welcomed the many guests to the evening including Kennedy, Martin McDonald on behalf of National Lottery, Clive Scoular (former Scout County Commissioner for Co Down) and Thomas Johnston, editorial and design team for the book.

He paid tribute to the whole project team involved in the restoration of the Old Scout hall and those involved in the gathering of material for the book.

As a mark of the Group’s gratitude to those involved in the Exhibition Centre building restoration Chris Stinson, Sean McDonald, Vincent Quigley and George Bingham were awarded the coveted Scout Thanks Badge for their voluntary work.

Martin McDonald spoke on behalf of the Heritage National Lottery. He paid tribute to the members of 1st Newry Scout Group and commented on how well the whole project fitted into Lottery guidelines.

Minister Danny Kennedy then officially launched the book “The Life and Times of 1st Newry Scout Group” and opened their new Exhibition Museum.

He thanked the Newry Scouts for their hard and dedicated work within the youth sector and their ability to produce such a high quality book that will undoubtedly be enjoyed by many families for years. He noted that it was particularly pleasing for him to have some of his own family members mentioned within the body of the book.

Scout Leader Mervyn Ferris explained, “The significant grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund allowed us to research the history and heritage of Scouting in Newry. In addition, a generous contribution from Newry & Mourne District Council, along with our own financial input made it possible for us to complete the museum and book.

“We are extremely grateful to these funders for their financial support with both of these projects and also with the development of a new website for the group.”

There is no doubt that the Exhibition Centre is a must to see as it is filled with wall story boards and pictures covering the last 100 years along with other scouting memorabilia.

Mervyn Ferris paid tribute to the work and design done by Michael McCaul Signs on the story boards leaving 1st Newry’s history in a fashion that will last for years to come.

In the interim the Exhibition Centre will be open on Monday evenings between 7pm and 8.30pm and there after by arrangement. Copies of the book can also be obtained at this time or from any of the Leaders.

If you require any more information on how to obtain a copy of the book or have a look around the museum please contact our Hon Secretary Linda Bingham on 07803507315 or e mail

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Posted by on Nov 27 2012. Filed under Community. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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