Crossgar Women's Institute
Diamond Anniversary Dinner

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Royal greetings for Crossgar’s Diamond Anniversary Dinner

Castlewellan Castle, Castlewellan, Co DownCastlewellan Castle, County Down was the venue chosen by Crossgar W.I to hold its Diamond Jubilee dinner. It was in this historical setting that President Sheila McMurray read a letter from The Palace, on behalf of Her Majesty, patron of the W.I., expressing warm good wishes to all during this most special anniversary year.

Special guests, Federation Chairman Mrs Betty Birney, accompanied by General Secretary Mrs Irene Sproule, were warmly welcomed. An apology from Lady Anthony Hamilton was read.

In her introduction the President gave a short resume of the history of the castle, before reminding all present of the ethos of friendship and service which had been entrusted to W.I. members. It was our responsibility, she continued, to preserve this ethos for those coming behind, and to actively recruit and encourage new membership.

Heather Lennon said Grace and a delicious meal, served in the friendly and festive setting was enjoyed by all.  The gift of an inscribed pen was given to each guest to mark the occasion. These were soon being put to good use in signing menu cards as mementos of the dinner.

The anniversary cake, beautifully iced with the W.I. logo, and baked by Mrs. Lily Gabbie, was then cut by honorary members Mrs. Catherine Williams and Mrs. Sheila McKee.

The President, having read the letter received from the Palace, proposed a toast to the Queen. She then proposed a toast to the Federation and Mrs. Betty Birney responded, conveying greetings from the Federation, and giving an amusing account of her eventful journey to the venue. Quoile Area Executive Member Mrs Avril Thompson thanked Mrs Birney and expressed her pleasure to be participating in the event.

Nurse Sue Spence on behalf of Marie Curie and Mrs Margaret McMillan ACWW were presented with cheques by Sheila McMurray and past President Olga Cairns .

Sheila McMurray, Olga Cairns & Nurse Sue SpenceNurse Spence thanked the Institute and explained how the money would help the organisation in its work of bringing treatment to patients in their own homes, for example being able to provide blood transfusions at home and avoid stressful hospital admissions.

Sheila McMurray, Olga Cairns & Margaret McMillanMrs Margaret McMillan expressed her gratitude on behalf of ACWW. She discussed with great enthusiasm and sincerity, the work of “Women Feed the World” including a current project aimed at providing clean water for a school in Africa, which she had visited.

Honorary member Sheila McKee and Rhona Niblock took a trip down memory lane, and among other things, took a light hearted look at “past experiences” which seemed to demand from each member a small amount of tea, sugar and food for one. The subscription was two shillings. In conclusion one thing has remained unchanged to this day - “bring your own cup!”

Mrs Barbara Jeffers from Gilnahirk institute provided the group with hilarious insights into different aspects of life, past and present with particular reference to the role of women. Tears of mirth were in evidence at many tables.

Floral tributes were presented to Betty Birney and Irene Sproule.

Zena McAllister from Killyleagh W.I. - on behalf of all guests - thanked Crossgar for a most enjoyable evening. Sub-committee member Nora Lennon proposed a vote of thanks to the organising committee for their hard work, and to the manager and staff of the Castle for the excellent meal and faultless service.

The evening concluded with the singing of The Countrywoman’s Song


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Last modified 20/09/2016 02:47