On a beautiful autumn evening, with the mist rising in the cold evening sunset, BASC members, along with their friends and families, descended on Larchfield Estate for glorious Centenary Dinner in the Barn.
Gavin and Sarah Mackie had this very private Estate looking splendid for the arrival of the crowds. The day had dawned with a glorious sunrise and many members had enjoyed an excellent day’s sport before changing into their finery and arriving at the Estate, where they were greeted by a piper in the flame-lit courtyard.
A well-tried partnership with the Patterson brothers – William and Derek of the Pheasant and Plough Restaurants respectively – saw the guests made to feel particularly welcome. After an introduction by local Director, Roger Pollen, the Association’s long-serving chief executive with a spirited eulogy to the proud place that is occupied by BASC, in which he paid tribute to the solid foundations laid during its inception as WAGBI.
He then handed over to celebrity chef and keen shooter, Derek Patterson, who had collaborated with a number of local shoots to produce a sumptuous dinner of local game and produce. Most notable on the menu was the exquisite venision from the Estate of one of BASC’s Centenary Patrons, Viscount Brookeborough of Colebrooke Estate in Co Fermanagh.
A surprise appearance mid-dinner by the Northern Ireland School of Falconry saw John Carmichael flying a barn owl around its natural habitat in the splendid barn, to the delight of the assembled audience. Guests were given the opportunity to see the birds close up in the feather, with many actually taken them in hand.
After dinner, the generosity of many sponsors and supporters became apparent, as auctioneer Mr Tim Martin conducted proceedings.
In the total the dinner, including sponsorship, auction and raffle grossed over £10,000, with profits being split between Young Shots activities in the Province and a donation towards the Centenary Appeal for the new Communications Centre at Marford Mill.
Grateful thanks are due to the many people, clubs and organizations for their support in making this such an enjoyable and successful event.
Items for Sporting Auction were kindly donated by:-
- Ballyconnell Gun Club
- Viscount Brookeborough www.colebrooke.info
- Mr Maurice Brown – Field of Dreams www.fodfieldsports.com
- Derrylin Gun Club
- Glenarm Estates www.glenarmcastle.com
- Mr Vaughan Harkness
- Hastings Hotel Group www.hastingshotel.com
- Mr Gilbert Irvine of Plastic Promotions www.plasticpromotions.co.uk
- Mr Charlie Keenan www.charliekeenan.com
- Mr Seamus McAleese
- Mr Donal McCloy
- Mr Charles Plunkett of Belle Isle Estate www.belleisle-estate.com
- Mr Peter Pursglove
- Mr Trevor Rushe of Alpha Dog Trailers www.alphadogtrailers.co.uk
- Mr Mike Sherman
- Shooting NI.
- Strangford Lough Wildfowlers & Conservation Association