A look back at the centenary celebrated in 1959

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Lochgilphead’s Centenary Week was held in 1959 in celebration of 100 years since the founding of our town.

With the joining of the roads to Oban, Inveraray and Campbeltown making for a convenient settlement, a petition was signed by 33 householders – 1,859 people – to make the village of Lochgilphead a burgh.

The elected commissioners had their first meeting on May 11, 1859.

The 100th anniversary celebrations included a long list of events – a parade led by Provost A. I. McCallum, followed by a ceilidh in the Drill Hall, a mannequin parade, and a film of the Queen visiting Oban.

And, of course, every little detail was recorded by the Argyllshire Advertiser.

The article reads: ‘Centenary Week at Lochgilphead, despite unfavourable weather, was an all-round success and the period of celebrations, which ended on Sunday with the Thanksgiving Service, gave the town ample opportunity to look back on a century of progress and forward to a future of faith. Its growth from modest fishing village to modern town was demonstrated in displays and exhibitions held throughout the week and the programme fully lived up to its objective described by Provost A. I. McCallum at the Inauguration “to provide inspiration and enthusiasm for the future”.’

The front green’s flag pole was mentioned, as much a staple of celebrations as it is today.

‘The centre-piece of the decorations was the flag-pole on the Front Green which flew the flags of the international code. And in addition to the many Union Jacks flying from buildings in all parts of the burgh, were the Stars and Stripes and the New Zealand flag from the offices of the Argyll County Council.’

Lord Lieutenant of Argyll at the time, Sir Charles Maclean of Duart and Morvern Bart., is quoted as saying: ‘Now you in Lochgilphead have reached that magic figure of 100. It is something to be celebrated by everyone who lives in the town and also by men and women who have moved away.

‘The future of the burgh lies in your hands – the provost, magistrates, councillors and citizens – not only for yourselves but for all the young people who live here and who, I am sure, will continue to do so in the future.’

Considering we’re now 60 years from the last centenary, would you say the next generation has kept their promise?