Boys’ Brigade meets every Tuesday evening from September to the end of March beginning of April each year. It consists of three sections, Anchor Boys, Junior Section and Company Section.
Anchor Boys – Meet from 6.30 pm to 7.30 pm and is for boys in Primary 2, 3 and 4 at school. It is our strongest section with at present 24 boys enrolled. The boys take part in a number of varied activities from stories to crafts and games. They also do a large amount of fundraising through filling smartie tubes with whatever coins they can fit in them mainly, 1p’s, 2p’s, 5p’s, 10p’s and 20p’s. The Anchors get to represent the company in the Annual West Ulster Battalion Funday.
Junior Section – Meet from 7.00 pm to 8.30 pm and is for boys in Primary 5, 6 and 7 at school. It has at present 9 boys enrolled. The programme is varied with activities to suit all and based on our ‘awards’; body, mind, spirit, community and creativity. We have football, quizzes, games, figure marching, craft and Bible Study. The junior section gets to represent the company in a number of activities – Carol Service at Christmas, 5 a-side and 7 a-side football and also the annual West Ulster Battalion parade.
Company Section – Meet from 7.00 pm to 9.00 pm and is for secondary school boys i.e. from 1st Form to 6th Upper. It currently has 18 boys enrolled. The boys learn and develop new skills, confidence, physical skills, group identity, sharing etc. Their activities would be something similar to the Junior Section but more suited to their maturity. They also once a month get to have a go at Archery and annually go .22 Rifle shooting. The company section also get to represent First Omagh in a number of activities – Ten Pin Bowling, 5 a-side football and the annual Battalion parade. The large majority of Company Sections time is spent preparing them for their Bronze, Silver or Gold Duke of Edinburgh awards and also for their Presidents Badge and followed by the Queens Badge which is the highest award given to a BB member.
Officers / Leaders – We have at present nine staff for Anchor Boys, three staff for Junior Section and three staff for Company Section. Each officer is a dedicated volunteer who gives up their time not only on a Tuesday night but also throughout the week in order to prepare activities for their respective sections. We are the most decorated Company in the West Ulster Battalion with two of our Officers having received the M.B.E..
Our Craft Group was formed about in the early 1990’s and has two sessions yearly – September to December and January to May. The membership of keen crafters meet on a Monday evening from 7.30 pm to 9.30 pm. A variety of crafts are undertaken which include decoupage, cross-stitch, patchwork, art, ceramic painting, flower arranging, crochet and knitting.
Membership has been steady over the years with different members sharing different talents and the Group has proved to be a great opportunity for fellowship as well as learning new skills.
The Indoor Bowling Club was formed in 1967 by several enthusiastic members of the congregation and since then generations of our members have come through the ranks and enjoyed the sport at all levels and abilities. The game of short mat bowls is widely played and church and community halls around the country and is probably one of the most ‘participated in’ sports in Northern Ireland.
Catering for all ages, the Bowling Club has provided recreational activity and good fellowship for church members and members of other churches in the town. Club tournaments, novelty nights and friendly matches with other clubs in the town and surrounding villages provide winter entertainment each Wednesday and Friday night from September to April.
In its heyday the club boasted a membership of over fifty and has provided players for area, county and international teams. The membership is a lot smaller now but there is still interest within the congregation and the club is always ‘recruiting’ whenever the opportunity arises.
If you are interested in trying the game out just come along any Wednesday or Friday night and you can avail of free coaching and club bowls to get you on the ‘right track to the jack!’
Presbyterian Women (PW) is an organisation for women within the Presbyterian Church in Ireland (PCI). There have been women’s organisations within PCI for over 130 years. PW incorporates the former Presbyterian Women’s Association and the former Young Women’s Groups with a total membership of around 14,000 within 500 groups. PW Groups are envisaged as women’s fellowships in which women are encouraged to become Christians and to become Christ-like. In addition to supporting mission at home and overseas, each group is to seek ways of actively reaching women in its own area for Christ.
The PW group meets at 8.00 pm on the second Tuesday of the month from September to May, with the May meeting taking the form of an outing. Recent outings have been to Parkanaur Manor House in 2009, the Ardhowen Theatre in 2010, St. Columba’s Church Flower Festival in Omagh in 2011 and Clogherney Presbyterian Church Flower Festival in 2012. We currently have over 30 members, with guests augmenting our numbers throughout the year. All women of the congregation are encouraged to come along and enjoy an interesting and varied programme.
Senior Badminton – First Omagh Badminton Club meet for practice on Monday nights at 8.00 pm. Thursday nights are also available for badminton, although at present this night is kept for matches and team practice. We have about twenty members in the club and usually eight to ten members play regularly on Monday nights. We take part in local competitions and leagues run by Clogher Valley and Western District Badminton Association. Some of our members also compete in the Ulster Badminton League and these matches are played in Lisburn.
Up until a few years ago we ran a Junior Club but lack of numbers led to the closing of this. Younger members are catered for at Omagh Leisure Centre where a Youth Development Squad provides coaching. The badminton season generally runs from September to April.
Ladies Badminton – Ladies badminton takes place on a Tuesday morning from 10.00 am to noon. It is attended by ladies from our own congregation and the wider community. Refreshments (tea/coffee/biscuits) are served during the morning. A charge of £1.00 is collected each morning to cover cost of shuttlecocks, milk, biscuits etc. The season runs from early September and finishes early May. Excess money at the end of the season is given to the church funds. This is a fun and enjoyable morning for all ladies involved.
The Walking Group was formed in 2001 with the aim of providing fellowship in a healthy environment for members and their friends. It meets weekly from early April to late September in the evenings for walks varying in length as the evenings lengthen and decline, but normally in the range from three miles to about five miles on minor and little used roads surrounding Omagh. The pace suits everyone and the routes are usually pre-planned and led by the leader but others have shown a willingness to share the work.
Numbers vary from ten to twenty each evening in April, May, June and September with slightly fewer during the summer months. Membership is mainly from the congregation including some families, and friends make up the remainder. It has been our experience that members vary their pace throughout the evening’s walk in order to have a variety of conversations and there is a genuine sense of fellowship one with the other.
There are two special days in the season for the members – in recent times there has been a Christmas Dinner organised during December and also the group has one all day outing at the end of the season in October where a walk and evening meal attracts numbers in excess of twenty. End of season walks in the past have taken place in the Antrim Coast area and also in the beautiful county of Donegal.
Most organisations lose members over the years but this group has retained most and added people each year.