An initial meeting was held in Blossomhill Orange Hall on the 14th July 1969 with the intention of starting up a new branch of the Mitchelburne Club of the Apprentice Boys from members of the Fintona Branch ABOD. The meeting was presided over by Brother AJ Crawford of the Fintona Branch and officers were proposed for the new Branch.
At a special meeting in Blossomhill Hall on Saturday 19th July 1969, attended by members of the Parent Club, the Charter for the new branch was granted and installed, the election of officers took place and delegates were elected to the South West Ulster Amalgamated Committee. At this ceremony, a Bible was presented to the Branch by Brother G. Craig; President of the Mitchelburne Parent Club. The first Worthy President of Blossomhill Branch was Brother George Thompson and the first Vice President was Brother Jim Francis.
In July 1970, the Worthy President; Brother Thompson, presented the Branch with two ceremonial swords which are still in use today. Two flags were bought (a Union flag and an Ulster flag) and a Bannerette was dedicated on 7th August 1970, in time for the Relief of Derry Celebrations.
The Branch draws its membership from the hinterlands of Fintona, Dromore, Trillick and Clanabogan districts of County Tyrone with a few from further afield. Membership in the first year was some 41 members; 1971 saw the membership peak at 87 brethren and membership remained high during the 70’s and 80’s but fell to around 30 in the 90’s. By the mid 2000’s paying membership had fallen to just the high teens but recent recruitment has seen numbers recover and membership is up to 30 again this year. Over the years, inflation has seen membership fees rise from £1.00 in 1969 to £10.00 in 1991 to £15.00 today. Monthly meetings are held in Blossomhill Orange Hall on the 4th Monday of every month.
Since the formation of Blossomhill Branch Club, there have been nine different Worthy Presidents of the Branch:
1969 – 1972 Bro George Thompson
1973 – 1974 Bro. Joe Little
1975 – 1976 Bro. Alan Cochrane
1977 – 1980 Bro. Robt. Oliver
1981 – 1983 Bro. Bert Wilson
1984 – 1987 Bro. Wm. Crawford
1988 – 1991 Bro. Warren Gilmour
1992 – 2002 Bro. Jack Maguire
2003 – 2013 Bro. Raymond Little (an original signatory of the Club Charter)
2009 the Branch celebrated its 40th Anniversary and a Bible was presented by Brother Marshall Hay; President of the Mitchelburne Parent Club to mark the occasion.
Blossomhill usually have a good turnout at the Relief Celebrations and for this event we engage the services of a flute band to lead us in the parade. Each year in August, the Branch holds a well attended open-air Drumhead service accompanied by Blacksessiagh Accordion Band, when we march to the field of Brother Ronnie Crawford about half a mile from the Blossomhill Hall. Proceeds from this service are donated alternatively to the Christian Independent Schools in Kilskeery and Clogher Valley. Also, a Cultural and Gospel concert is held annually and the proceeds are given to a local worthy cause.