Residents celebrating 50th anniversary of Gortalowry

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Residents past and present will be celebrating the 50th anniversary since the first houses were constructed in Gortalowry Park, Cookstown, back in 1970.

The community celebration will take place in Greenvale Hotel on February 29 next bringing people together from Cookstown, Ireland, England and maybe as far away as America.

To celebrate the occasion the event will start with traditional music by the talented White Roses.

Local residents who formed the band Angel Heart many years ago will then play a few tunes followed by the up and coming Smokin’ Gun, who also contain a few of past Gortalowry residents.

The exceptional Muddlers Club will then provide the entertainment for a few hours followed by a disco by the well known Francie Quinn. A champagne reception, buffet and anniversary cake will also be provided on the night and Daniel O’Neill will do a short talk on the history of Gortalowry.

Photos will be taken on the night by Andy McGucken. There will be a visual photo exhibition of the homes and families from 50 years and onwards. Mid Ulster Council are the main sponsors of the event with Funland, Belfast House, INF, PF Taxis, Dunleath Bar and Mulligans Bar also assisting with sponsorship, which the committee are grateful for. Several local businesses have pledges prizes for the raffle. Any local business’s who would like to provide sponsorship for the event or donate a prize for the raffle can contact the chairman Michael Martin on 07784399101.

Said Mr Martin: “As someone who grew up in Gortalowry I would say it was the best days, something which has been endorsed by many who lived there. There was no such thing as mobile phones back then and we entertained ourselves either playing football in the car park or Ernie’s wall, playing rounders, chase, tennis, kirbsy and bulldog in the woods.”

It is hoped the anniversary event will help cement these relationship as well as build new relationships among past and present residents. It is also hoped this event will be the catalyst for future events among various communities.

Tickets for the event will be available from Michael Martin (07784399101) and Paul Ward (07760256608) or can be obtained at the next committee meeting on December 3 in Mulligan’s Bar at 7.30pm.

All sides of the community are welcome. Anyone with old photos of the area can them forward to michael.martin@btinterrnet.com.