Members of Ballymena Inner Wheel were joined by fellow members from across Ireland recently to celebrate the local Club’s 70th anniversary.
It was on March 6, 1945, that the Ballymena Club was granted its Charter and was, in fact, the first Club in Ireland to be recognised in this way.
It is now one of about 20 clubs across the island and is a constituent member of Inner Wheel International, which has over 100,000 members worldwide.
Ballymena Mayor, Cllr Audrey Wales hosted a Civic Reception for the Club in the Mayor’s Parlour at The Braid to mark the historic milestone at which she congratulated and thanked the members for the contribution they have made to the local community over the past seven decades.
Afterwards, Inner Wheel guests from across Ireland, including members of the Ballymoney, Larne and Carrickfergus Clubs moved to Leighinmohr House Hotel for a celebratory dinner.
There they were joined by presidents and representatives of the borough’s Rotary and Probus Clubs.
District Chair of Inner Wheel in Ireland Janet Howard brought District greetings to the local Club and thanked members for the contribution they continue to make within “the Inner Wheel family”.
Guest speaker, Joan Christie OBE, Lord Lieutenant of County Antrim, paid tribute to Ballymena members for the charitable work in which they are engaged and added her 70th anniversary congratulations.
Local Inner Wheel President Patricia Perry thanked all those in attendance and extended appreciation on behalf of members to special guests Janet Howard and Joan Christie.
Mrs Perry said: “Our local Club is delighted that so many friends from Inner Wheel and, indeed, the wider Rotary family, have been able to join us in marking this very important occasion.
“The local Club members have, over the years, endeavoured to live up to the aims of Inner Wheel....to establish true friendship amongst members, to encourage the ideals of personal service and to foster international understanding.
“We look forward to continuing to play our full part in the local community,” Mrs Perry added.