The hunt for Rev John Graham's oil painting

NEXT year marks a centenary since noted historian, author and poet Reverend John Graham was promoted to Rector of Tamlaghtard, Magilligan.

A very early member of the Orange Order, Rev Graham was a colourful character.

Part of his story will be told in a forthcoming book that Fiona Pegrum and Aaron Callan are currently researching and writing on the history of Tamlaghtard Church.

Along with Reverend Graham’s great, great, great, great granddaughter Kate Graham of Prince Edward Island, Canada, they are searching for a lost oil painting which was reported in the Londonderry Sentinel 1957 to have been offered to the Londonderry Corporation by Kenneth Hopkins of Hove.

The offer also included a contribution of a number of Rev Graham’s books made by his great granddaughter Mrs H Pearl Adams, a journalist of the Sunday Times and Observer.

In 1960 the Belfast Telegraph reported that that plans were being made to open a Derry Siege Museum and the Apprentice Boys’ Order had a number of important relics in storage including “an oil painting of Rev John Graham, a great Protestant and Orangeman who was rector of Lifford and also Tamlaghtfinlagan between 1820 and 1830 and who was a noted writer on the Siege.”

Unfortunately the Apprentice Boys’ museum no longer holds the painting and a suggestion that it was borrowed for an exhibition at Monreagh Heritage Centre years ago, has not produced a result.

Does anybody know the whereabouts of this oil painting or any other images of Reverend John Graham?

If you have any information, Fiona can be contacted on fionapegrum@gmail.com and Aaron can be contacted on 078 4387 9358 or aaroncallan@live.co.uk.

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