YOUTH CLUB - Report 1998

When The New Hall was opened in September 1961, Mr. A. Canning, Superintendent of the Sunday School, took the idea to the Rev. Montgomery that a social evening should be opened for young people in the church. The project was unanimously approved by the Kirk Session.

The young people were invited to attend the social evenings and allowed to invite one or two friends. 

This idea developed into a Youth Club and a Youth Club Committee was formed. It was a two tier committee. It had Senior and Junior members and worked very successfully with the active support and patronage of the minister, Dr. Montgomery, Mr. A. Canning and other interested church members.

The club met on Friday evenings and a varied programme of debates, films, quizzes, talks etc was organised. 

Mr A. Wallace, a former Treasurer of Strand presented the club with a record player. This provision of music was much appreciated and used at social evenings, and for dancing.

During the Moderatorial year of Dr. Montgomery, 1963 - 1964, Rev. A. Prentice took charge of Strand congregation. He organised a Saturday evening social evening for several years.

Rev. Maurice Bolton was installed in Strand in 1968. The Youth Club was re-organised to include the members of the youth organisations of the church and was under the guidance of Jarnes Hetherington, R. A. McGuire and Del Hamilton.

The club met on Friday evenings, enjoying table tennis, badminton, indoor football, snooker and records.

Weekend outings were organised at Learmount Castle with the help of Mr. and Mrs McClintock, Mr. and Mrs John Burnside and Mr. Alex Canning.

At this time, Mr. and Mrs Robert Pinkerton played an increasingly active part in the activities of the Youth Club and Robert took over responsibility as leader of the Youth Club.

In the late Seventies, John Reid, who had helped in the Youth club and gained a certificate in Youth Leadership, took over as Club leader.

The group of committee members and leaders of youth club activities was now re-named as the Youth Council of Strand. In 1977 with the help of the Youth Council, the Youth Club purchased their own disco and public address equipment. This enabled the Youth Club to run a very successful Disco once a month in the New Hall.

In 1984, to supplement Youth Club activities, the Ilex Club was formed under the leadership of Mrs Ann Pinkerton. This was a Saturday evening games organisation which joined with the Youth Club membership for Presbytery youth activities, weekend and summer trips and assisted where necessary with congregational events.

An annual function, introduced by the Youth Club, and still enjoyed by the congregation is the summer Barbecue. For the last decade this has been held at Roe Valley Country Park.

In December 1997 Mrs Ann Pinkerton who had devoted over twenty years to the service of the youth in Strand, decided to retire from leadership.

At present, the Youth Council is considering the future course of Youth Outreach in Strand and the programme needed to cater for the years ahead.