Two important (and tragic) anniversaries which affected the Club occur in 2018.
The first of these is the 40th anniversary of Queen’s Park’s ill-fated tour to Canada in 1978. That tour ended in tragedy when two of our players, Bernie Donnelly and David Ballantyne, were killed in a car crash, and a third, David Gillespie, was so seriously injured that he never played for us again. Wall plaques, which include pictures of the touring party and biographical details of those killed, will be put up in the JB McAlpine pavilion at Lesser Hampden. These have been sponsored by Craig Donnelly, who is Bernie’s brother, and by our former player Alan Mackin.
The second is, of course, the centenary of the ending of World War 1. In 2015 the Club embarked on a project to learn more about the 226 Queen’s Park members and players who served in the forces in the Great War, including the 34 now known to have lost their lives. The project also sought to examine the impact of the war on Queen’s Park, Hampden, and Scottish Football as a whole. It was assisted by grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Originally suggested by Colm Hickey of Middlesex Wanderers, the project has been championed by former President Jim Hastie. The historical research and most of the writing has been carried out by members Frank McCrossan and Fred Ellsworth; papers and a DVD have been produced and are available on the Club website, and the latter has published a book. Frank is in the process of producing a new paper with information about the nine QP men who died in 1918.
We have agreed that this project will end on Armistice day this year. Our task now is to consider how best to mark this event and how to recognise the eleven QP members and players who served in the war and who are not named on the memorial plaque which is currently housed in the Scottish Football Museum, as well as discussing with the Museum curators where the plaque is to be situated after November.