The eight Institutes of Slemish Area held their recent annual meeting in Cullybackey College.
Area Chairman Diane Murdoch of Broughshane WI welcomed the packed gathering of members and guests including guest speaker Michelle McDaid of Air Ambulance Northern Ireland; Mid & East Antrim Councillor Audrey Wales; and, Chairman of the Federation of Women’s Institutes for Northern Ireland, Elizabeth Warden, who brought greetings from Federation House.
The platform party consisted of Institute members who hold posts of responsibility in the area for 2017-2018 - Area Executive Member, Sophia Maybin; Area Chairman, Diane Murdoch; Area Secretary, Isabel Halliday; Area Treasurer, Yvonne Crabbe; and, Eileen Mol who serves on the Arts sub-committee.
It was an evening when talented ladies were rewarded for their efforts. Some members had already received awards at the March WI AGM at the Stormont Hotel in Belfast.
In the Arts, Anna Murphy of Kells and Connor WI won the Aileen Chapman Trophy for a poem written by a WI member, Eleanor Mc Ilroy of Cullybackey WI won the Moorcraft Salver for her painting and Marie Mewha of Kells and Connor WI won the Unnetta Burrell cup for best costume in a sketch and also the North West Drama Trophy for the best moment of theatre at the recent Drama Festival.
In Craft, Elizabeth Patterson of Broughshane WI won the Eileen McCoubrey Cup for Traditional White Embroidery, and Anne Johnston of Glarryford WI was awarded the Seapark Trophy for best entry by a newly enrolled member. Other ladies won special
Homecraft awards including Sandra Patton, Glarryford WI who received her Full Circle for completing 24 crafts to a very high level. Eleanor McIlroy, Cullybackey WI received her Gold Award for completing 12 crafts and Hilary Smith and Anne Johnston, both Cullybackey WI received Silver Awards for completing 3 crafts. All of these awards were presented by Elizabeth Warden who Ribbon awards to Broughshane WI’s Diane McCaughey, Anne McMaster, Elizabeth Patterson, May Adams, Iris McFetridge and Pat Hayes. From Cullybackey WI Hilary Smith, Eleanor McIlroy and Kathleen Kennedy received Ribbon awards as did Elizabeth McLeister, Sandra Patton Ivy Ross, Anne Johnston and Margaret Murray-Tait from Glarryford WI and Maura Ellis and Phyllis Currie from Kells and Connor WI. Joan Stephenson of Cullybackey WI was congratulated on winning the area Bowls competition but was unable to take part in the Northern Ireland final and Rosemary Bell of Kells and Connor WI was thanked for taking her place. The area Quiz was won By Ahoghill WI and their team of Liz Gardiner, Yvonne Reid and Alma
Suthers were given best wishes for the NI final to be held in Hillsborough in May.
Area competitions won at the meeting were the Baking competition won by Randalstown WI who received the Ballymena council vase, the Craft competition won by Kells and Connor WI who received the Ahoghill WI Salver, and Flower Arranging won by Gracehill and Galgorm WI who received the Ruth Orr trophy. The Institute who scored most points in these competitions was Randalstown WI and for this they received the Jane Black trophy.
Paddy Loughridge was thanked for judging these competitions and photographer Darren Crawford was thanked for judging the Photograph competition “Beside the Seaside” which was won by Randalstown WI who received the Wexford International Vase.
Eileen Mol who is retiring from the Arts sub-committee after six years’ service was presented with flowers and a gift by Executive Member Sophia Maybin.
Diane Murdoch introduced the guest speaker, Michelle McDaid from Air Ambulance NI who explained the background to the service which members heard costs £5500 per day to provide. Michelle was thanked by Diane and presented her with a gift and also a cheque for £703 for the Air Ambulance Service, which was the proceeds from the Area Christmas Carol service hosted by Kells and Connor Institute.
Rosemary Frayne Gracehill and Galgorm WI gave a comprehensive Vote of Thanks to everyone who had helped make the evening a