|Basil McCrea MLA and members of Drumbo Women's Institute in the Great Hall. Included are Lucy Mulholland (President), Ethel Patterson (Chairman of the Federation of Women's Institutes) and Executive Members Ann McCurdy and Joan Shanks.||Lucy Mulholland (President) and founder members June Hamilton (left) and Betty Patterson (right) cut a cake marking the 50th anniversary.|
LAGAN Valley MLA Basil McCrea hosted a reception and dinner at Parliament Buildings, Stormont last Monday evening to mark the 50th anniversary of Drumbo Women's Institute.
The party started in the Great Hall and after posing for photographs and getting a conducted tour of the buildings from Mr McCrea, the ladies made their way to the magnificent banqueting hall for dinner.
Mrs Lucy Mulholland, Drumbo WI. President, welcomed Mr McCrea and expressed her appreciation on behalf of Drumbo to him for arranging their Golden Anniversary Dinner in such prestigious surroundings.
Guests Mrs Ethel Patterson (Chairman of the Federation of Women's Institutes N..), Executive members Mrs Ann McCurdy (Lagan area) and Mrs Joan Shanks, fellow members past and present and friends who have supported Drumbo over the past 50 years were all welcomed.
Lucy said the occasion was a time for looking back with fondness as they thought of those who were absent perhaps through age or illness and spoke highly of all who over the past 50 years had left behind a legacy to be very proud of.
Mrs Ellen Kelso said grace. After enjoying a wonderful meal, the President and founder members Mrs Betty Patterson and Mrs June Hamilton cut the birthday cake Each guest received a gift of a commemorative pen, blue and engraved with gold. After thanking the members for inviting him to join them for dinner, Mr McCrea made a toast to the Queen. Mrs Sadie Graham made a toast to the Federation.
In commending their work, she made reference to the enormous contribution they make in the province and abroad and also for their work in the community and rural areas.
In her reply, Mrs Ethel Patterson said that she was very hopeful for the future of W.I. and stressed the importance of recruiting others and being prepared to have slightly more modern changes.
Mrs Ann McCurdy proposed a toast to Drumbo and presented them with an engraved gavel and board. Receiving the gift., President Mrs Mulholland, thanked Mrs McCurdy for the gift and for her support and dedicated work in the Lagan Area. Mrs Joan Shanks from Spa WI. presented the President with a beautifully cut crystal bowl and suggested awarding it on an annual basis to the person with highest competition points at all levels both Institute and Area.
Mrs Lorna Davis, a former member, paid tribute to Drumbo telling how she came to the village to be a farmer's wife not knowing the first thing about a lamb, joined the Institute and made lots of faithful friends in a short time.
With celebrations not yet over, the president made reference to the Church Service to be held in Drumbo Presbyterian on Sunday 23rd May
|Committee members L to R: Myrna Manley, Sadie Graham (Secretary), Mabel McCausland, Lucy Mulholland (President), Beth McKnight, Lyn Rankin (Treasurer), Helene Beattie and Evelyn Newell.||Brian Johnston and Charlotte Nelson entertained the ladies with music and songs.|
In a presentation entitled 'Down memory lane', Mrs Lyn Rankin recalled that at the start, most of the members came from the farming community or the village of Drumbo, with Mrs Currie being the first of 22 successive presidents. New housing developments in the village - Glenside Park, Pinewood Park and Titterington Gardens - boosted the membership, which now comprises ladies from as far away as Belfast and Hillsborough.
Over the years the institute has taken a very active role in the community including: entertaining patients from Purdysburn and children from a Lisburn Special Needs School; manning the trolley for the residents at Kilwarlin House in Hillsborough; and each year joining with the residents of Killynure House, Carryduff, to entertain them with singing and dancing at their Christmas party.
One highlight of the history was the year they took part in the Mayor's Parade in Lisburn. Early on that Saturday morning members gathered in Hazel Allison's yard to decorate the float-cum-lorry. It was a family float with kids on board all dressed to represent sports personalities - all involved had a fabulous day, but no prizes.
Over the years Drumbo W.I. have entered a number of Lisburn Home Safety competitions taking the form of quizzes and plays and doing well on a number of occasions. Many of the ladies have won cups at area level and at outside events such as Saintfield Show
Mrs Rankin recalled that the members were delighted when Evelyn Newell was awarded an MBE for her work in the community and also when two ladies were chosen to represent N.I at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington in a Discover N.I programme.
Mrs Rankin also said that they are proud of the ladies talents in crafts and their generous contributions of knitted garments sent to intensive care and premature wards in Dundonald and Royal Victoria Hospitals.