Cityside Reports Stir Memories

I read with some personal interest the article by Niall Deeney (12 March) “Londonderry’s ‘Protestant exodus’: when they burned the church hall, we knew we had to move.”

I share the confusion expressed by Doris Carruthers concerning the report published by the Pat Finucane Centre, which claimed that intimidation against Protestants was not the “principal cause” of the ‘migration’. This report confitrms the sentients expressed by the Simon & Garfunkel song ‘The Boxer’ – ‘a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest’.  It should be noted that of the four Presbyterian Churches on the City side only one is still functioning.

As a student at Magee University College I remember the Marlborough Hall Rosemount with some affection as I had the pleasure of preaching there. The Marlborough Hall, Presbyterian City Mission Hall was connected to Great James Street Presbyterian Church, where the minister at that time was the Reverend George Wynne. The  George Frederick Hampton Wynne was elected Moderator in 1975.

My wife and I recall meeting Rev. Wynne and his wife in Como Market, Italy, following the introduction of internment on 9th August 1971. He had heard a news report that a ‘Mission Hall’ had been burned down in Londonderry. His first question was; ‘was that Marlborough’? We had the unenviable task of confirming the sad truth.

Yours etc.

Brian Kennaway (Rev)

South Antrim.

This letter appeared in the Belfast News Letter on 14th March 2018