THE CELEBRATIONS for Balcas’ 60th anniversary have been continuing with festivities and family fun aplenty.
All this year the local timber giant, formerly known as Ballycassidy Sawmills, will be marking six decades serving the people of Fermanagh, having employed many hundreds of locals over the years, including generations of families. Celebrating ‘Balcas at 60’ there has been a distinct community focus to proceedings.
Kicking off the celebrations with a nostalgic look back through the decades through story telling and workshops earlier in the summer, the internationally-renowned company held a special fundraising open golf event in mid-August, donating proceeds to Fermanagh Women’s Aid.
More recently, Balcas staff were treated to a night of entertainment at Rossharbour.
Blessed with fine weather, the teams enjoyed tours of lower Lough Erne before tucking into a barbecue dinner, followed by a “diamond night” of laughs and good company.
“Standup comedian Kevin McAleer helped reveal the Uncle Colm in all of us before live music took us in to the wee hours,” said a Balcas spokeswoman. “It was a diamond night that brought staff together, past and present – old and new to mark this special milestone.”
A few days later, it was the turn of Balcas’ families to get in on the action, with a Sunday fun day at Enniskillen Airport.
With bouncy castles, balloon modeling, face-painting and much more family fun, the day also featured the more unusual Balcas Strong Man/Strong Woman competition.
“The highlight of the afternoon was the Balcas Express – a mini train that toured our 72 acre site, presenting the team with the opportunity to show their kids their area of work and hopefully to help illustrate a little of our sustainability story,” said the spokeswoman.
“We look forward to further events to mark our anniversary including a Balcas at 60 cycle of the lough on Sunday 2nd October in support of Fermanagh Women’s Aid and more planned activities for 2023.”
Balcas was first established on August 17th, 1962 and has grown to become one of Ireland and Britain’s largest wood product and renewable energy providers. It currently employs just over 380 direct employees, with a further 300 people employed in forest harvesting and haulage.
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