Chair hosts a reception for Cappagh Young Farmers Club’s 75th anniversary

25th May 2022

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Cappagh YFC (1)

Recently the Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Errol Thompson, hosted a reception for Cappagh Young Farmers Club to celebrate the Club’s 75th anniversary.

Below is the text of the speech which was delivered by Councillor Thompson at the reception:

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen

As Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, I am delighted to welcome you all here to the Civic Offices at The Grange, Omagh for this reception to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Cappagh Young Farmers Club.

I understand the first meeting of Cappagh YFC took place on 24 January 1947 in the loft of Dunmullan Creamery.  The meeting was organised by a representative from the Young Farmers Clubs of Ulster Headquarters, Mr William Girvan, and the first Office Bearers were elected – RH Johnston (President), A McConnell (Club Leader), DJ O’Loane (Secretary) and G Mellon (Treasurer).  The Club continued to meet in Dunmullan Creamery for approximately two years before moving to Dunmullan Orange Hall where you continue to meet today.

Since the first meeting, the Club has continued to grow from strength to strength attracting members in significant numbers over the last 75 years. Indeed, I understand that Cappagh YFC is currently one of the largest clubs in Tyrone.

Over the years members have enjoyed a variety of club activities, both in the hall and at external venues.  Members have also competed in a wide range of competitions including Stockjudging, Floral Art, Public Speaking, Home Management, Football, Tug-Of-War, One Act Drama Festivals and the Rosebowl to name but a few.  The talent of the members is such that you have continuously enjoyed success at County and Northern Ireland level.

The Club members have also given generously of their time to raise money for charity and I understand that you have raised approximately £100,000 for local charities during the 75 years.  This is a tremendous achievement and the difference you have made to the lives of so many in the local community and further afield is admirable.

The Club has also excelled in the Efficiency Awards with individual Officer Bearers being recognised and I understand that no other Club has won Top Club or Tyrone Super Club more times that Cappagh.  The success in the Efficiency Awards is testament to the level of commitment and participation by the members, individually and, indeed, as a Club.

During the past 75 years members have also had the opportunity to participate in International Rallies and the Club has also been represented on the Presidential Team, most notably by your current President, William Wilson, who was elected as President of the Association in 2011.

I am also told that the YFC is renowned for organising memorable nights out, providing members with an opportunity to socialise, raise Club funds and support other clubs in the province.

The Young Farmers Clubs of Ulster is the largest rural youth organisation in Northern Ireland with over 3000 members. Its mission is “a people focused organisation with the objective of encouraging individual development, creativity, initiative and contribution for the benefit of the member, charity, industry and community.”

I believe that Cappagh YFC embodies this vision perfectly.  The Club is run by members for members and the level of success achieved over the years demonstrates how the Office Bearers and Committee Members have encouraged individual members to develop, use their initiative, be creative and contribute positively to the Club and the wider community.

As well as working individually, the Members have demonstrated that they can work as part of a team ensuring Cappagh YFC remains at the forefront of the YFCU.

The pledge of the YFCU is to promise to do your duty, to be punctual and regular in attendance, to support all activities to the best of your ability. Help and encourage others so that as members of the Young Farmers club you may become better farmers, better countrymen and better citizens.

I would like to take this opportunity to commend all the Office Bearers and Members, past and present, for your dedication and hard work in supporting all activities and for the contribution you have made to Cappagh YFC as well as the wider community and the District.  The positive impact the Club has made on the lives of so many of our young people is something each of you can be proud of and you have all certainly become better farmers, better countrymen and better citizens.

On behalf of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, and on my own behalf, I would like to congratulate the club on its 75th anniversary and for the recognition you have brought to Tyrone and to the District.  I trust that you have all enjoyed your times as members of Cappagh Young Farmers Club and that you have made many lifelong friends and memories.  I am confident that you will continue to champion the Club and demonstrate the positive contribution that rural youth can make so that the Club can enjoy many more years of success in the future.

Thank you.