The members of Ballymoney and District Soroptimists International welcomed Keith Beatty of Ballymoney Museum to their meeting on 19.04.2012. Keith’s topic was Marathon Mac and other centenary stories. This tied in with the Museums current exhibition commemorating the Olympic victory of K K McArthur and other famous events of 1912. The exhibition runs until 22 Sept 2012. Kennedy Mc Authur was a Dervock man who after emigrating to South Africa won a gold medal at the Stockholm Olympics. Keith outlined details of forthcoming local events to celebrate this wonderful achievment. We enjoyed a highly entertaining talk that was full of well informed amusing anecdotes. Ballymoney is the final resting place of a Titanic survivor–Wilfred Seward and the staff at Ballymoney Museum continue to try to find more details of his remarkable story. Ulster Day was held in opposition to Home Rule in 1912 and Keith
For our summer outing Club members and friends met at Rose’s cottage on the outskirts of Kilrea. This is a little two roomed cottage which as been ‘restored’ to how it was when there was no electricity, running water or central heating. Pearl Hutchinson and her husband, custodians, host visits from various community groups including those with special needs. Visitors are treated to pancakes cooked fresh on a griddle over the open fire. The cottage was originally occupied by Pearl’s husbands carer when he was a child following the death of his mother. This was a lovely evening of friendship and fellowship before breaking up for the summer holidays.
On the 19th February 2011 members of SI Ballymoney and District manned the checkouts in Tesco Ballymoney to raise funds for Parkinson’s UK – Northern Ireland. All were a bit apprehensive at first but the hour and a half stints flew past as we helped shoppers with their weekly chore. Just under £600 was raised and presented to the Causeway Coast branch of Parkinson’s UK – NI. As an added bonus many people in the Ballymoney are now much more aware of Soroptimist International and what we do – even if the full objectives don’t trip of the tongue easily. The pictures show us happy in our endeavours.
On Thursday 21 October the ladies of Soroptimist International Ballymoney & District held a table quiz at Ballymoney Rugby Club in aid of Pakistan Relief Fund. There was a marvellous turnout of people who supported the club and the cause. Quizmasters Tom Wilson and Tom Bratton prepared a varied, interesting and amusing quiz, which tested and informed and had all teams racking their brains. The supper, proved by club members, was a welcome break at the halfway stage to recharge the batteries and was served to the tables by the social committee members. The club president Mrs Ann Todd thanked all those for coming and presented the prizes for the winners and runners up together with the draws for the raffle prizes. Although figures need to be finalised it is, at this early stage, looking as though there will be a final total in excess
Soroptimist International Ballymoney and District meeting for September 2010 was attended by a large turnout of members and five new prospective members who were entertained by a talk from Maurice Todd entitled ‘Outdoor Classroom’. This showed that by taking schoolchildren – from P1 to A Level student – out into the environment and encouraging them to find answers, they would enjoy and retain the information presented to them. Maurice takes classes to the coastal and countryside areas of N.I. and by using stories of animals, giants, fairies etc shows children about real life history, geography, orienteering, archaeology and nature. The aim of these classes is to bring young people in tune with the environment.
President Cherril Blair had a busy year, particularly at the start, having agreed to step into the President’s role at the last moment. Our annual dinner was held in the Ramada in Portrush and the summer outing saw a return to school, with a visit to the Causeway school taking some members back and reminding others of the stories their parents or grandparents told of school days. During the year there were talks from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, a practice nurse on women’s health issues, a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity and the custodian of Glenarm Castle. We learned about environmental and health issues as well as international aid work. At Christmas, as an alternative to gifts for the Women’s Aid refuge, the Club paid for basic equipment and ingredients which were used to teach some basic cooking skills to those passing through the refuge who would benefit.
Dr John Gilliland OBE, Hon DSc, FRSA, FRAgs, address the Club on the issue of ‘Food versus Fuel’. He gave a step by step account of where the world is at present regarding energy resources and energy consumption. He set this in the context of population growth and climate change. Over all he highlighted how the world cannot simply continue to consume energy in the way it is currently doing and expect to be able to survive. John brought out the moral dilemma facing us – do we pour resources into the energy rich developed world to maintain the style we have come to expect or do we leave something to help feed the developing countries? As well as looking at the global context of the problem he showed the impact of the problem to our local economy. The agriculture based economy, particularly our animal
Mr Joe Dwyer from the North Eastern Education and Library Board’s Educational Psychology Service address the Club on the 16th of January 2009. He explained how this service was organised to meet the needs f its ‘client group’, namely those children and young people of school age with special educational needs. Joe outlined the key role of teachers in identifying those with special educational needs. He made the point that not all children / young people who are difficult or have difficulties at school have special educational needs. There can be a range of other reasons for the problems. The Educational Psychology Service does not work in isolation as often those with special educational needs have other problems as well. This takes cooperation with other Board Agencies as well as with Agencies out with the Education and Library Board. Examples of other Board Agencies includes:-
Our annual Christmas party was held on 4th December 2008 in Ballymoney Rugby Club. Members were relieved that the heating was working on this occasion unlike our wine tasting event earlier in the year! It was noted however that one or two had brought along nice warm coats just in case…. As well as enjoying a glass of mulled wine of fruit punch on arrival, a lovely Christmas dinner was served by the ladies from Iris’s Kitchen. There were plenty of empty plates and very little room for mince pies by the end! This year members were asked to bring in a present that would be suitable to give to any woman who found herself in the unfortunate position of spending Christmas in a Women’s Aid refuge. The gifts were split between the Coleraine and Ballymena refuges. All those attending took home a little jar
The aim of this competition is to get young girls involved in analysis and debate about topical issues in society. It is hoped that this will make the girls more aware of the voice they have and give them some of the skills needed to use it in today’s environment. After last years disappointing three entrants this year we had nine competitors from four schools – Ballycastle High School, Ballymoney High School, Cross and Passion and Dalriada. Elizabeth McFetridge is our Club public speaking coordinator and did an excellent job in ensuring the evening ran smoothly. The standard of competition was very high, all of the girls demonstrating high quality research, analysis and composing skills as well as remarkable presentation skills. The girls chose to speak on quite a range of the topics from the available list. These included: v respect for life; v fantastic