The end of an era for the William Kings

Fountain  Primary headmistress, Cathy Arthur, receiving a cheque from the William King Memorial Flute Band.
Fountain Primary headmistress, Cathy Arthur, receiving a cheque from the William King Memorial Flute Band.

At the recent Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the William King Memorial Flute Band there was a changing of the guard when two of the original founder members, Chairman John Rankin and Secretary Trevor Mitchell stood down in favour of younger band members.

Christopher Simpson was elected into the chairman’s role after spending the last few years as John’s deputy and Paul Logan takes over as secretary from Trevor.

Pupils from the Fountain Primary School who took part in music and culture lessons, which were organised by the Londonderry Bands Forum.

Pupils from the Fountain Primary School who took part in music and culture lessons, which were organised by the Londonderry Bands Forum.

Christopher thanked John and Trevor for the work they put in over the past 41 years in keeping the band in such a prominent position and for the commitment they both had shown.

John and Trevor will continue to perform on the contest and concert platform with the band and lend their support to the new office holders and the committee which has radically changed also.

In a final duty as Secretary Trevor Mitchell recently handed over a cheque on behalf of the band to the Fountain Primary School to help with various projects for the young people now attending the school.

The headmistress Cathy Arthur thanked the band for the cheque and also the work they have been doing this past year through the Londonderry Bands Forum in helping the Primary 6 and 7 pupils with music and culture lessons.

Aspiring musicians from the Fountain Primary School following lessons with the Londonderry Bands Forum.

Aspiring musicians from the Fountain Primary School following lessons with the Londonderry Bands Forum.

The LBF education initiative has been set up to improve all aspects of cultural awareness associated with the Marching Bands sector and uses music and discussion to promote the diversity of elements within the bands.

The classes are delivered by Andy Lynch from the Londonderry Bands Forum, which is based at St Columb’s Park House and funded by the International Fund for Ireland.

Andy told the Sentinel that the “only disappointing thing about the programme so far is the lack of Protestant schools taking up the opportunity for the free lessons compared to the Catholic maintained schools which are very enthusiastic in embracing the chance for their pupils to discuss and debate the subject.”

The Londonderry Bands Forum is also continuing to support the William King Memorial at the Fountain Forum group to help with the regeneration work in the Fountain area.

Band representative on the Fountain Forum, John Rankin, stated that “the recent announcement of an investment package for the area and the Brandywell would only benefit the residents if all parties in the Fountain worked together and forced the Government departments to use the Fountain Forum as the catalyst for development.”

He told the Sentinel that the Visioning Tool shown at Holywell Trust giving a high quality 3D overview of what the Fountain could look like gave a good example of what could be achieved if the right resources and community input was used.

The ideas showing details of a new community hall which could be used by all groups and an extension to William Jackson’s museum with an aesthetically pleasing adjoining wall attached to the city walls was welcomed by those residents who viewed the plans.