Opening of the new Findon Hall 20th June 1975
A selection of photographs and press cuttings are available in the Gallery below.
Culbokie Centre opened.
Mt Hamish Gray, M.P. for Ross and Cromarty, declared open the new £40,000 multi-purpose community centre, Findon Hall, Culbokie, on Friday evening [20th June 1975].
Mr. Jack Sinclair, vice-chairman of the Hall Trustees, who presided, had commented on the efforts of the builders, Tarradale Construction Ltd., had put in to get the building completed in time for the opening ceremony. It is just five months since the old hall was demolished so that work could begin on the new centre.
Mr. Gray said: “I am not surprised it was completed on time. In Ross-shire we have a reputation for doing things on time.” He added that the new oil production platform, Highland Two, was ready several weeks ahead of schedule and he had made a point of getting this fact on record in the House of Commons.
A Hall such as this was more important than ever in a rural community at this time. “We have developments of such magnitude attracting world-wide attention,” Mr. Gray continued, “so it‘s terribly important that we don’t allow ourselves to be engulfed by all of this.” It was necessary that the day-to-day life of country districts should continue happily, particularly when so many people commuted to and from work.
They needed a focal point, where people could meet and take part in social activities. He commented on the help that had been given by the Highlands and Islands Development Board adding. “The HIDB come in for criticism, but I have never heard of anyone refusing a grant from them.”
Mr. Sinclair also referred to the help of the HIDB; Mr. A. Forsyth, Divisional Director of Education; Mr. D.U. Macmillan, Regional and District Councillor; and Mr. Hugh Crawford, architect. He commented on the “wonderful turnout” and read a message from Mr. Peter Macintyre, chairman of the Hall Trustees. The Rev. D. Macleod, parish minister, offered up a prayer.
A souvenir tankard was presented to Mr. Gray by four-year-old Anne MacCulloch, daughter of one of the Trustees.
The platform party, were piped to the building by 14-year-old David Bisset, Conon Bridge, a Dingwall Academy pupil, who chose the tune, “The 79th's farewell to Gibraltar,” for the occasion. The door of the building was ceremonially unlocked by Mr. Donald (“Dondo”) Mackenzie, the longest serving Trustee, whose father and uncle were Trustees before him.
Mr Murdo Bethune, secretary of the Trustees, said afterwards that £700 towards the hall funds had been raised at the sale of work and dance which followed the opening ceremony.
Further celebrations for the opening of the Findon Hall.
Friday 18th July: Fancy Dress Parade 7pm
Friday 18th July: Football match Culbokie v Veterans 7.30pm followed by Grand Dance 10pm – 1.30am
Saturday 19th July: Grand Fete 2.30pm opened by F. Newton, Chairman Ross County F. C.
See advertisements in Gallery below.
“Gala at Culbokie”
A score-line of three goals to nil may suggest a convincing enough win – but when the losing side are about twice the age of their opponents such a result can only mean that there is plenty of life in the old boys yet.
And that certainly was the verdict of the enthusiastic crowd, who gathered in Culbokie’s recreation ground on Friday to see a team of veterans challenge the present-day Culbokie side. The match was in aid of the funds of Findon Hall, the new £22,000 local Community Centre, opened recently by Mr. Hamish Gray, M.P.
Nineteen former Culbokie F.C. players had volunteered to take the field, so the veterans had a substantial supply of reserves to act as replacements, when the pace got too hot for those already in action.
It was a lively game with plenty of thrills and lots of laughs, and although the veterans never found the net they came near to scoring many times, especially during the first half, when Don Dingwall got going on one of his swift forays down the left wing. The pace was hot from first to last – and no quarter was expected or given.
The game was the highlight of the opening of a two-day Gala in aid of the Hall Funds.
It was proceeded by a fancy dress parade, greatly enjoyed, especially by the many children taking part, and judged by Mr. Colin Cameron, Balnakyle.
The prize-winners were:-
Funniest costumes – 1, Jaqueline Young (Mrs. Mop); 2, Stephen Sutherland (Oxo cube); 3, Derek MacCulloch (Womble).
Most Original – 1, Julia Campbell (Convict); 2, Hilary Sinclair (Japanese Girl); 3, Scott MacAllister (South Sea Warrior).
Couples – 1, Fiona and Ruth Jack (South Sea Islanders); 2, Barry and Dale Maclennan and their cousin, Kerry Anne (Bill and Ben, the flower-pot men, and Little Weed); 3, Hamish Campbell and Colin Maclennan (Horse).
Special Prize – Mrs George Bremner (Sleepless Nights).
The proceedings culminated in a fete in the Hall, which was opened by Mr. Fred Newton, chairman of Ross County F.C. Mr. Newton recalled that of his first contracts in the motor hiring business was in transporting children from all over the local catchment area to Culbokie School. He invited the audience “to dig deep” into their pockets – which they did.
The profit on the Gala week-end totalled more than £700, bringing the proceeds of fund-raising since the Hall was opened, earlier in the month, to a useful grand total of £1,350.