Holm Park Pavilion Named In Memory Of Graham Harkness

The Graham Harkness Memorial Pavilion was unveiled on Saturday 23 July.

The Pavilion, previously known as the Hamilton Starke Pavilion, had its named changed in memory of Graham Harkness, who was a founding member of the Sunday Amateur Football League in Dumfries.  Graham died in 2013, and Dumfries and Galloway Council was approached by the Sunday league association earlier this year to rename the pavilion at Holm Park in Dumfries in memory of Graham.

Graham carried out many roles in the Sunday Amateur Football League Association.  He was dedicated, worked hard and was a stickler for good administration!  The league became a big part of his life.  The league would not have gotten off the ground without Graham’s tireless work, and it certainly would not have prospered and enjoyed the longevity it has without Graham.

Councillor Tom McAughtrie made a speech to give some background on Graham and his role within the Sunday league association.  Councillor McAughtrie then welcomed Graham’s widow Mrs Hilda Harkness to unveil the plaque on the re-named pavilion.

A football match followed on from the unveiling, with a Queen of the South Under 17/20’s XI taking on a Sunday League Select XI.  The match was played in good spirits, with the result ending up 5-1 in Queen of the South’s favour.

After the match, a small reception was held at The Normandy Bar in Troqueer for players and friends of Graham and the Sunday League to gather and share stories of over 30 years of Sunday league football, in and around the Dumfries area. Tributes were paid by Sandy Urquhart, Vice-President of the SAFA, to Graham’s work for amateur football in Scotland and also by John Delaney, President of the Irish Amateur Football Association, who spoke warmly of Graham, both as a personal friend and also for his work for amateur football.

Councillor McAughtrie, who is the Chairman of the Council’s Communities Committee commented; “When the Council received the request to change the name of the pavilion, we were delighted to oblige.  The pavilion will be very well used by a thriving Sunday league, and is a fitting tribute to Graham.  The match was played in good spirits, with some great goals scored.  We look forward to strengthening our relationship with the Sunday Amateur Football League in the upcoming season.”

Photos attached:

Mrs Hilda Harkness, Graham’s widow

Cllr Tom McAughtrie with the teams

Cllr Tom McAughtrie with Mrs Hilda Harkness

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