Third Carrickfergus Band conductor passing on the baton

Desy Graham and his wife Liz are joined by friends and colleagues at the Third Carrickfergus Band tribute in the Loughshore Hotel. INCT 23-705-CON
Desy Graham and his wife Liz are joined by friends and colleagues at the Third Carrickfergus Band tribute in the Loughshore Hotel. INCT 23-705-CON

Third Carrickfergus Band and guests gathered at the Loughshore Hotel to mark the retirement of their conductor of over 30 years, Desy Graham.

As well as tributes from local colleagues, there were video messages from England, Scotland and Wales to show the esteem that Desy is held within the brass band movement.

The band presented Desy with a commission from local artist Glynis Burns, a portrait of him conducting Third Carrick along with some of his cherished memories from the past three decades. He was also presented with binoculars.

Band chairman Tim Glover quipped: “To say that Desy was just conductor of the band for 30 years really does not capture the essence of the man and the service he has given to the band, the members and the local musical community in general.

“As a founder member of the old 3rd BB band Desy has been a player, mentor, marriage guidance councillor, bank manager, surrogate parent, therapist and golf coach to a lot of young people who have passed through the ranks of the band.

“Furthermore, throughout his time as conductor he was also librarian, equipment officer and even repaired the instruments when required. To cap it all, he managed to have a remarkable success rate in contests and the band was voted NI Band of the Year on a number of occasions.”

Acknowledging the contribution that Desy’s wife Liz made throughout his long career, Third Carrickfergus wished them “a long and healthy retirement together as they have earned it.”