INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT THE BUILDING OF THIS HALL - THE MONTGOMERY HALL
The first reference to the need for a new hall occurs in the minutes of the church committee meeting on May 10th 1955. At that meeting, Mr R. S. Gray asked for the opinion of those present, on the necessity for a new hall, and also a suitable site.
On March 13th 1959, the question of a new hall was put to the congregation at a congregational meeting. An immediate unanimous agreement was given to the provision of a hall.
The rear of the church site was occupied by a vestry and sexton's residence, which had become too dilapidated for use. The obvious solution seemed to be to demolish these buildings, and erect a building to include a hall, committee room, vestry, kitchen, toilets etc.
Mr Gerald Colhoun, architect and member of the congregation, was engaged to draw plans for a building suitable for the narrow but deep site beside the church.
Much praise was earned by Mr Colhoun, for his clever design, using every inch of space, including the sharing of one wall of the church.
Each member of congregation was encouraged to subscribe towards the purchase of a chair to equip the hall. Other items of necessary furnishing were dedicated in memory of former members.
The chairs, and other furnishings are still in use to-day.
The building contract was carried out by Messrs John Eakin & Co Ltd., Londonderry.
The cost of the Hall was £15,000.
In addition to the building of the hall, other improvements were made .
The front of the church had the plaster finish removed to reveal the stone facade, This made the finish more in keeping with the new hall.
The position of the gates was altered which led to the erection of a completely new wall and railing in front.
The Hall was opened and dedicated on Thursday, 14th September 1961 at 7.30pm.
The opening ceremony was performed by Very Rev. J. H. R. Gibson, M.A.,D.D., Clerk of the General Assembly.
The Moderator of the General Assembly, Rt. Rev. W. A .A. Park, M.A.,D.D., dedicated the hall.
In succeeding years this hall was much appreciated by the congregation. It was referred to as The New Hall to differentiate between it and The Old Hall, also still often called The Schoolroom.
After the death of The Senior Minister The Very Rev. W. A Montgomery, M.A.,D.D. It was decided to name the New Hall in his memory.
On Sunday 23rd November 1986 a service of re-dedication was held. The preacher was Professor R. F. G. Holmes, B.A.,M.A.,M.Lltt.,D.D.
After the service, those present gathered in the Montgomery Hall, where the widow of Dr. Montgomery, accompanied by their sons, Mr. Lindsay Montgomery and Mr. Robert Montgomery unveiled a plaque to mark the occasion.