In December 1978, Gala Civic Week Chairperson, Charles Neill took to the press to report the apathy that had been creeping in towards the organisation of the Blantyre Gala days.
He stated Blantyre people would have to give their full support and provide volunteers if the Gala was to continue in 1979. Mr Neill, was that month referring to a very disappointing meeting where hardly anybody turned up to discuss the gala day and the strain it pushed on to the few who did appear.
He told reporters, “If we are to have a worthwhile celebration of being a community, surely it makes sense for that community to be fully behind the idea.” The problem seemed to be that everybody supported and wanted a gala, but just a few were involved to organise it. Another meeting was called for after the press release.
Being involved in the modern committee, there are just a dozen volunteers who organise the summer and winter events for Blantyre. Thankfully, no apathy is apparent with all individuals motivated and proud of their accomplishments to date. Funding for Blantyre Gala day is at a record high thanks to the fundraising activities of our committee. Each has a specific skill-set which makes the organisation of the events much easier, relying on one another if jobs, holidays and life gets in the way from time to time. The story is one however, I was personally interested in and bodes as a warning for the future. Blantyre’s Gala Days hinge entirely on the motivation of just a few individuals, and history has shown that where, when and if that collapses, the gala days themselves will end until another generation or volunteer group picks it up again.
Pictured earlier in 1978, are some children who took part in the 1978 gala civic week.
Featuring Blantyre Project Social Media with permission. Strictly not for use by others on or offline, our visitors said,