Champagne toast as Floral Art Club honours founder members

Newly appointed 'honorary'  members of Ballymena Floral Art Group. (L-R) Margaret Barr, Mavis Speers, Ross McGookin (Chairman) and Elizabeth Aitcheson (Missing:  Sandra Carson). (Submitted Picture).
Newly appointed 'honorary' members of Ballymena Floral Art Group. (L-R) Margaret Barr, Mavis Speers, Ross McGookin (Chairman) and Elizabeth Aitcheson (Missing: Sandra Carson). (Submitted Picture).

There was a surprise in store for some very dedicated members of Ballymena Floral Art Club’s annual dinner!

Chairman, Ross McGookin, said she was delighted to announce that the Committee had decided to bestow ‘honorary membership’ to Sandra Carson, Founder and President, along with founder members, Margaret Barr, Mavis Speers and Elizabeth Atcheson.

Ballymena Floral Art Group  prizewinners (L-R) Adeline Cherry, Julie Carlisle, Colleen Hamill, Margaret Bamford. Submitted Picture).

Ballymena Floral Art Group prizewinners (L-R) Adeline Cherry, Julie Carlisle, Colleen Hamill, Margaret Bamford. Submitted Picture).

A champagne toast was raised to all four members in recognition of their unfailing dedication, commitment and support to floral art in general and particularly to the club during the past 41 years.

Honorary badges were presented to Margaret Barr, Mavis Speers and Elizabeth Atcheson.

Unfortunately Sandra Carson, who was instrumental in founding Ballymena Floral Art Group, was unable to attend, but Ross McGookin and a few Committee members subsequently visited Mrs Carson in her own home to present her badge.

Annual Prize winners were awarded as follows:-

Ross McGookin (right) and committee members congratulate  newly appointed 'honorary'  President of Ballymena Floral Art Group,  Sandra Carson.    L- R Sylvia Kernohan,  Sandra Carson, and Mary Knox. (Submitted Picture).

Ross McGookin (right) and committee members congratulate newly appointed 'honorary' President of Ballymena Floral Art Group, Sandra Carson. L- R Sylvia Kernohan, Sandra Carson, and Mary Knox. (Submitted Picture).

Novice Class – Adeline Cherry - the ‘Elizabeth McLeister Vase’

Intermediate Class – Julie Carlisle - the ‘Mavis Speers Trophy’

Open Class – Colleen Hamill - the ‘May Matthews Silver Salver’

Most entries to Flower Shows and NIGFAS events over the year - Margaret Bamford - the ‘Sadie Lorimer Shield’

After dinner, Joan Lockhart, President of NIGFAS (N Ireland Group of Flower Arrangement Societies) congratulated the honorary members on their wonderful achievement and stated that it was obvious to those in the field of floral art that Ballymena Club had been - and continued to be - a very successful and focused group with many very talented members.

She wished the club continued success in the future.

Joan subsequently enthralled everyone by demonstrating a number of fabulous arrangements entitled ‘Focus on Flowers’ whilst sharing her knowledge of interesting folklore associated with certain flowers and plant materials. The evening was drawn to a close with a raffle which included Joan’s arrangements along with the beautiful table arrangements by Janet Wilson and Sylvia Kernohan and the wonderful pedestal arrangement in the foyer by Mary Knox.