Crossgar Women's Institute
Golden Anniversary, 1948 - 1998

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Golden Anniversary 1998




1998 saw a major milestone in the life of the Institute with the Golden Anniversary. This was marked by a number of events and activities and the length of time the Crossgar Institute has been in existence bears testimony to the value placed upon it by the members that have supported it throughout that period.


It all started with the election of our wonderful Golden Committee consisting of Mrs Rhona Niblock, Mrs Lily Gabbie, Mrs Sandra Phillips, Mrs Sheila McKee, Mrs Phyllis Cranston and Mrs Jo Murray.

Fashion Show

A fashion show was organised by the Golden Committee and everyone helped. The fashion show was a superb event, bringing our community together to enjoy a feast of fashion. From the proceeds we were able to donate money to Riding for the Disabled, Nutritional Blindness and Water for All.

Church Service

A thanksgiving service was organised in Lissara Presbyterian Church. The Rev. Armstrong conducted the Service and Hilda Stewart OBE, President of the ACWW, gave a very eloquent address. The Service provided an ideal opportunity to bring together in prayer all the Members of the Institute irrespective of their own religious convictions giving credence to the harmonious community in which we are privileged to live. It goes without saying that all the Members excelled in producing sandwiches and cakes for the afternoon tea held after the Service.

Golden Dinner

The Stormont Hotel on the outskirts of Belfast was the setting for our Anniversary Dinner. The dinner was a great success and was well supported by representatives of the Federation. Mrs Kathleen Doherty, Chairman of Women's Federation for Northern Ireland, brought the greetings of the Federation while our President, Rhona Niblock, welcomed everyone to the celebration. What a delight it was to have one of the founder members, Mrs Molly Robinson, along with four other Honorary Members. Mrs Joan Shanks, our Executive Member, gave Crossgar WI a wonderful gift of a special silver tray with a Limerick lace inset depicting the six counties of Northern Ireland.

Of course no special dinner would be complete without a special cake which was made by our expert baker Lily Gabbie.

What a super cake - it seems a shame to cut it!

  Mrs Sheila McKee gave a short resume illustrating the activities of Crossgar WI during the 50 years of its existence. Mrs Donny Cuthbert delighted us with a scrapbook that she had compiled containing cuttings and old photographs depicting the many years of WI activities and fun. On behalf of Crossgar WI Mrs Lily Gabbie presented a Silver Cup to the Federation Chairman.

Hillsborough Castle

Our President, Mrs Rhona Niblock, had the honour to welcome members to our November meeting to Hillsborough Castle with its majestic fireplaces, pictures, chandlers and stunning decor. Our meeting took place in the Throne Room and the evening will be remembered as a remarkable and very memorable event.

Members enjoying a very special night at Hillsborough Castle.
Members at Hillsborough Castle

  Carol Service

During December 1998 Fr. Brian D'Arcy welcomed members to the Monastery Chapel for a Carol Service. Fr. Kevin McMullan conducted the service. Christmas was in the air and a wonderful feeling of hope, peace and friendship prevailed. Following the Service the Golden Committee provided a wonderful supper. Our thanks go to Mr. Dominic Craig of the Northern Bank, Crossgar, for presenting a brooch to depict the vice presidency together with a beautiful leather brief case for use by the Secretary.

This concluded what was a truly memorable year for our Institute and we are now looking forward to our 60th Anniversary.


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