The "Praise Him on a big bass drum" Exhibition took place in Tullanisken Parish Hall on Friday 29th and Sat 30th September.
The Official opening took place on the Friday morning when the Lord Lieutenant of Tyrone Robert Scott launched a book called Praise Him on the big bass drum, Our Stories as well as officially opening the event.

The event was supported by a large number of bands who lent band uniforms, instruments, photos and other memorabilia for the event. We even had uniforms from bands that unfortunately are not longer in existence. No Anniversary celebration would be complete without a cake and the cake was cut by David Clarke from Newtownstewart Red Hand Defenders who were the first band to invite the project bus to their parade.

At the opening ceremony Matthew Hanna presented thank you trees to people who had helped the project over the last 5 years and to the people who had contributed their stories to the book. Matthew is a member of Pride of the Birches accordion band who is a regular visitor to the bus, he is 11 and has been attending the bus over the last 5 years.

There were two people in particular who worked hard to help with this event and that was Marion Jamison and Sharon Gibson from React. Marion and Sharon helped set up the event and attended and did what was needed at the event. A big thank you is due to them both.

Also thank you is due to all the ladies from All Saints Church Crossdernott, Gladys Cardwell, Deborah Watt, Joanne Burnside and Paul Stewart for all the work they did baking for and serving tea etc.

The bands who helped with the exhibits were Bro. David Cuddy Memorial, Sandholes Accordion, Benburb Pipe, Kilcluney Volunteers, Markethill Protestant Boys, Mulnagore Accordion, Mullabrack Accordion, Aughalargue Accordion, Drumnaglough Flute Band, Newtownstewart Red Hand Defenders, Dunamoney Flute Band, Ballymacall Flute Band, Tullylagan Pipe band, Newmills Silver Band, Bloomhill Accordion, Ballumoughan Purple Guard FB, Ardarragh Accordion, John Hunter Accordion Band, Dergina Accordion, Derryoghill Flute Band and uniforms from two bands that are no longer in existence Armagh Fusiliers and Star of Tyrone.

The event was attended by a large number of people who during the two days were entertained by Mulnagore Accordion, Pride of the Birches, Ardarragh, Bloomhill, and Aughnagurgan Accordion bands and John and William leaders of Kilcluney gave a demonstration of their skills. John is 9 and William is 3 years old.

Also thank you to Dougie, and James for the photos and videos of the event and also thank you to William Bradshaw who tool photographs at the official opening. The event was also attended by Kilcluney's special Double Olympic medal winner Cyril Walker who brought his silver and bronze medal for the visitors to the exhibition to see.

The exhibition came to an end by Ivan Walker Chairperson of the Confederation of Ulster Bands presenting the Zacchaeus Project Leader Valerie Thom with a basket of flowers and a bee broach which Kilcluney wear on their uniform and she had admired. Valerie was also presented with a bunch of flowers from Mullabrack Accordion Band. Hans Johnston a parent of one of the members of Ardarragh Accordion Band, had made a beautiful wooden "Praise him on a big bass drum" sign so a big thank you to Hans for his hard work. Thanks to James Johnston for all his technical help and Gemma Boyd for everything she did to help as well.

The event raised £2000 which will be divided by giving £700 to NI Air Ambulance, £700 to the South American Mission Society and the remainder going to the project. The project also wants to say a big thank you to the County Tyrone Grand Orange Lodge for their donation, also to the Mid Ulster Council for their support.

For the photo gallery please click here