More than 100 attended the official launch of Maghera Historical Society at Walsh’s Hotel in the town.
The Society has been set up to celebrate and preserve the rich history of Maghera and the surrounding districts.
Honorary secretary, Mr James Armour, who suggested establishing a new Museum and Heritage Centre, said over the coming months the society was setting out to secure premises in the town to work towards setting up a museum and heritage centre “which will serve many functions”.
He continued: “It will act as a safe archive for memorabilia and artefacts as well as providing a focal point for all those interested in the culture and heritage of Maghera.
“The centre will reach out to all communities and all cultures in the town and seek to include as many people as possible in coming together to record and preserve our shared past for future generations.
“A start in the documentation of the town has already been made with the publication of a brochure, written by Peter Etherson, setting out a heritage walk with illustrations and information about noteworthy buildings.
Joseph McCoy, the Chairperson of the Maghera Historical Society gave a very inspiring talk on the foundation of the organisation. Drawing on his deep knowledge based on many years of research he spoke of the history of the town.
He was followed by the guest speaker, Dr. Bill Macafee, the distinguished author and historian. He congratulated the Society on the Launch which he likened to the launch of a ship setting out on a voyage of discovery.
Cllr Jim Campbell, marked the launch as one of his last official engagements as Vice-chair of Magherafelt District Council and a representative of the people of the local area.
Proceedings were brought to a close by presenting prizes to the winners of the photographic competition and reminding everyone that it is not too late to make a contribution to the Society Time capsule which will be buried at the end of August.