The eight Women’s Institutes of the Slemish Area held their annual Spring Area meeting on Thursday, April 11, in Cullybackey College.
Area chairman Ethel Simpson, from Carnlough WI, welcomed everyone including guest speaker Geraldine Foley and her partner Peter Maxwell, Muriel Barr from NI Children’s Hospice, Pamela Brown, Federation Treasurer, Ards Peninsula Area Executive member, and Margaret McCracken, Sperrin Area Executive member.
The platform party consisted of institute members who hold posts of special responsibility for the area for the year 2018-2019 – Sophia Maybin, Broughshane WI and Slemish Area Excutive member and Chairman of Homecraft sub committee, Ruth Orr, Cullybackey WI Arts Sub-Committee, May Small, Broughshane WI Arts Sub-Committee, Annie Davidson, Broughshane WI, Balmoral Sub-Committee member, Diane Murdoch, Broughshane WI, Home and Garden Sub-Committee, Ethel Simpson, Carnlough WI, Slemish Area Chairman and International Sub-Committee, Marie Mewha, Kells and Connor WI, Slemish Area Secretary, and Janet Gaston, Broughshane WI, Slemish Area Treasurer.
Mrs Pamela Brown, Federation Treasurer, brought greetings from WI Headquarters (Northern Ireland). Federation Chairman Collette Craig was unable to attend as she is at ACWW Conference in Melbourne, Australia. Pamela praised the wonderful display of crafts shown by Glarryford WI and the great number of trophies displayed on the awards table. She then presented the awards to the talented winners.
Comprehensive reports were given by Ruth Orr, Arts Sub-Committee, Annie Davidson, Balmoral Sub-Committee, Sophia Maybin, Homecraft, Magazine and Leisure and Federation, Diana Murdoch, Home and Garden Sub-Committee, Ethel Simpson, International Sub- Committee.
Area competition winners were Ballymena Borough Council Vase (baking) Kells and Connor WI, Ruth Orr Trophy (floral art) Gracehill and Galgorm WI, Ahoghill WI Salver (craft) Cullybackey WI. Jane Black Trophy (Best Overall Institute) tie, Gracehill and Galgorm WI with Cullybackey WI. Wexford International Vase (photographic competition) Kells and Connor WI. Thanks to judges Mrs Paddy Loughridge and Darren Crawford.
Slemish Area Chairman Ethel Simpson presented a cheque for £565 (proceeds of the Slemish Area Carol Service hosted by Randalstown WI) to Muriel Barr from NI Children’s Hospice.
Ethel Simpson introduced guest speaker Geraldine Foley, whose illustrated talk was entitled “Where Airlines Fear To Tread”. Geraldine and her husband sold their house so that they could build a sailing boat to live on and explore the world. They spent 20 years travelling to such places as Cape Horn, the Caribbean Islands, Antarctica, Australia, The Falklands, Kerguelen and Nova Scotia. Rosemary McAllister, from Kells and Connor WI, gave a comprehensive vote of thanks to everyone who had made the evening such a success.
Ethel said the WI Grace and the members all joined in singing “A Countrywoman’s Song”. Everyone enjoyed the supper provided by Kells and Connor WI.