Club pays tribute to founding chairman

Brian McGrillen, chairman of Dromara Vintage and Classic Club, was joined by Mrs Mary McCann, her daughter Claire and son James at the unveiling of the special plaque in memory of the club's founding chairman, Tom McCann.
Brian McGrillen, chairman of Dromara Vintage and Classic Club, was joined by Mrs Mary McCann, her daughter Claire and son James at the unveiling of the special plaque in memory of the club's founding chairman, Tom McCann.

Members of Dromara Vintage and Classic Club honoured the memory of their inspirational founding chairman, the late Tom McCann, at a special presentation event in the village last week.

Tom, who sadly died last year, was the recognised driving force behind the success of the club and the thousands of pounds its annual summer show has raised for local charities since its inception in 1994.

Griff Morrow presenting a specially engraved mirror commemorating the memory of the late Tom McCann to his widow Mary at last week's event. Also pictured are Tom's daughter Claire and son James.

Griff Morrow presenting a specially engraved mirror commemorating the memory of the late Tom McCann to his widow Mary at last week's event. Also pictured are Tom's daughter Claire and son James.

He was the club’s chairman from its foundation until illness forced him to take a less demanding role, but his enormous contribution to his community has been recognised with a black marble plaque unveiled in the Peter Morgan cottage at Finnis, the club’s headquarters.

The club’s current chairman Brian McGrillen, who unveiled the memorial along with Tom’s widow Mary, his son James and daughter Claire, said this year’s show on June 10 will be “tinged with sadness” because of his loss.

“The show this year will be dedicated to Tom’s memory. We remember him as a great ambassador for Dromara and his untiring efforts to raise so many thousands of pounds to help local charities and good causes,” Mr McGrillen said.

Proceeds from this year’s show will be donated to the MacDermott Oncology Unit at the Ulster Hospital, where Tom was treated during his illness.

The plaque bearing an engraving of Tom’s favourite vehicle - a 1965 Nuffield tractor which he restored - has the inscription: “Remembering Tom McCann for his contribution to the local community through fund raising activities in the Vintage Club. Founder member from 1994 - 2016.”

Griff Morrow, who is also a founding member of the Vintage and Classic Club, presented Mrs McCann and her family with a specially engraved mirror for their home in memory of Tom.

Mrs McCann thanked everyone in the club for their “kindness and thoughtfulness”.