Service To Remember The First Emigrants Who Set Sail From Larne
A service to remember the first emigrants who set sail from Larne was held recently. They left on board the first organised Ulster Scots ship to leave Larne for the Americas 300 years ago. Called the Friends Goodwill, it left these shores in May 1717. They were remembered in the service led by the Rev Dr Andrew Campbell on May 21, 2017. Andrew is the rector of Skerry, Rathcavan & Newtowncrommelin, encompassing St Patrick’s Broughshane.
Those attending the service of commendation in Curran Park, Larne were welcomed by the Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, Councillor Audrey Wales MBE.
During the service a plaque commemorating the ship and its passengers was unveiled. Piper Peter Browne also played The Lament.
In his address, based on Revelation 21:1-7, Rev Campbell remembered the 50 or so passengers who had boarded the Friends Goodwill.
“They left these shores in search of freedom and opportunity. They left these shores in search of hope.
Their journey was long and tough. It was marked by fear and anxiety. Food and water supplies were so low that lots were cast for who would be eaten in the case of extreme starvation.
Of those passengers one did not make it to Boston and died on the journey. Yet it was hope that got the others though this ordeal. Hope for a better world, hope for justice, hope for opportunity, hope for freedom.
These brave pioneers became the vanguard for a people who would build and shape America. They would produce frontiers men and women, teachers and educationalists. They would produce generals and writers. In fact they produced presidents and even astronauts.
The men and women who left here did so in hope. It was that hope that shaped and produced the world we live in. Not just here, not just in America, but all over the globe.”
Rev Dr Andrew Campbell recently led a service to remember the first emigrants who set sail from Larne.
In his prayers, Andrew gave thanks for the lives and the achievements of ‘those brave pioneers’ who left these shores in hope of a better life.
He also prayed for those who risk their lives at sea, and for all fleeing persecution and hardship. “For refugees throughout the world, we ask that they would find safety, and protection in places where they can live their lives in peace,” Andrew said.
To find out more about St Patrick’s Parish Church in Broughshane log on to their website.