News Release

Londonderry Congregation Celebrates 50th anniversary 

On Saturday 22 September the Londonderry congregation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Northern Ireland held a Cultural Evening to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Groundbreaking for the meeting house building.

The event coincided with a celebration of culture in Londonderry in the lead up to their celebration as City of Culture 2013.  Keith Wright, a member of the Ward and a local radio presenter, arranged the evening and those in attendance were treated to a wide range of performances with music and poetry from as far afield as China, India, Peru, Spain and the USA as well as local performers from County Donegal and County Down.
Counsellor Mary Hamilton, the Deputy Lady Mayoress from the Derry City Council, took time from a very busy day at her Party Conference in Belfast to travel back to Londonderry to spend some time at the event.  Bishop Tom McIlhenney made a presentation to the Deputy Lady Mayoress of a book, 'Mormons Believe…What?!' written by Gary Lawrence, a member of the Church.
Some of the artists had relatives in the Church.  One performer who had written a poem about Church member Jason Smyth, the ‘fastest paralympian on the planet’, and double gold medal winner from the recent London 2012 Paralympics, took time to express his admiration for the devotion and faith of the missionaries, telling of seeing them out tracting on his visits to Hong Kong and even at the steps of St Peters Basilica, in Rome.
Another poet shared a work inspired by her experiences in the Family History Centre.  She spoke of finding ‘numerous’ children who had died at birth or at a very young age way back in her family.  None of her relations were aware of these children so she wrote a very touching poem about those forgotten infants.
The group of 50 mainly adults and young single adults attending the evening watched as it was brought to a  fitting end with 'Elvis' appearing in the hall, performing a number of very energetic numbers, which had a number of the audience up and dancing on their feet prior to him 'leaving the building'.

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