Annual General Meeting 2023

Posted May 30, 2023 by WI Staff in Event Reports

Annual General Meeting 2023

The AGM was held in the Europa Hotel, Belfast on Thursday, 30th March 2023 and it was a great day with a packed audience!  The Executive Committee was delighted to be able to host such a large-scale event, particularly as the AGM had to be scaled back in the midst of the pandemic. It was wonderful to see a full house once again.

All 21 WI Areas were represented on the day and special guests included Lady Anthony Hamilton (President FWINI), Christine Adams (President RUAS), Councillor Christina Black (Lord Mayor of Belfast), Peter Alexander (President YFCU), William Irvine (Deputy President UFU), Anne Kerr (President SWI), Hilda Roche (National President ICA), Diana Thompson (Chair Women’s Forum NI) and Kay Simpson (NI Chair Townswomen’s Guilds).

Comprehensive reports were delivered by Federation Chairman Margaret Broome and Federation Treasurer Sheelagh McRandal.  There were also several Resolutions put forward and discussed, including ‘Ending Violence Against Women and Girls’, which proposed that, as the largest women’s organisation in the province, FWINI should actively support the Northern Ireland Executive with the actions identified by this strategy.

The latest reports from the Chairmen of the WI’s six Sub-Committees were circulated and each Sub-Committee had its own display table, with a creative showcase of work from various projects, events and competitions.  There were also promotional stands manned by representatives from local organisations and charities, including Advice NI, Women’s Aid, The Community Lottery and The Big Lunch, who were all on hand to chat to members, offer advice and promote the invaluable work they do for women and the wider community. 

As well as the many decorative displays, the room was also adorned with beautiful contemporary floral art sculptures, which were created by Sandra Abbott of Drumbeg WI. (Thank you, Sandra!)

A special mention must also go to the marvellous guest speaker, Adrian Morrow, Managing Director at Glenarm Castle, who entertained the audience after lunch with tales of growing up on the grounds of Glenarm – “The best playground a child could have!”   In his current role on site, Adrian has developed the Castle as a prime visitor attraction.  Later into the afternoon session of the meeting, talented award winners from WI competitions, including Homecraft, International and Magazine and Leisure, were presented with their awards.

The following Federation awards were presented at the AGM by Federation Chairman Margaret Broome:


Eileen McCoubrey Cup (Traditional white embroidery) Anne Martin, Ballievey WI
Seapark Salver (Best entry by a newly enrolled member) Kerrie Mumford, Ballyblack WI
Olive Kane Cup (Wool embroidery) Diana Thompson, Ballyclare WI
Roe Valley Trophy (Full Circle holders) Evelyne Robinson, Ballymoney WI
Dromore Scroll (New guild member with highest number of A+) Joanne Campbell, Ballymoney WI
Clanabogan Cup (Team knitting)


Ballymoney WI – Joanne Campbell, Tanya Everett & Heather McConaghie
Doreen Dawson Cup (Team entry of 3 different crafts) Ballymoney WI – Joanne Campbell, Tanya Everett & Heather McConaghie
Janet Jones Trophy (Modern or unusual craft not included in the Homecraft Syllabus) Ruth Watt, Broughshane WI
Coey I Cup (Coloured embroidery) Sheelagh McRandal, Drumbeg WI
Thelma Goldring Trophy (Best individual item) Sheelagh McRandal, Drumbeg WI
Etta Stewart Cup (Best entry of craftwork exclusive of cup winning entries) Elizabeth McKinty, Gleno WI
Coey II Cup (Embroidery) Gwen Henson, Kells & Connor WI
Greenisland Cup (Institute gaining the greatest number of grade A awards in proportion to the number of members during the year) Kilrea WI
Hilda Stewart Trophy (Best entry of Limerick or Carrickmacross lace) Marilla McAuley, Larne WI
Isobel Lusk Cup (Knitting) Mary Walker, Loughgall WI
Emily Bossence Tray (Gold award holders) Nancy Wharry, Mossley WI
Emily Blair Trophy (For the disadvantaged) Jane Laverick, Newtownbreda WI
Ray Turner, Ballymoney WI
Pamela Robinson, Carrickfergus WI
Myrna Douglas, Cullybackey WI
Kathleen Kennedy, Cullybackey WI
Iris Ingram, Fourtowns WI
Betty Graham, Kilrea WI
Babs Bassett, Spa WI
Helen McVicker, Armoy WI
Davida Irvine, Moira WI



Mary Boyd Trophy (Mary Boyd Competition 2022 –Upcycling theme: ‘Repurpose a used item of clothing into something new to wear.’ – 1st Place) Jennifer Skelly, Moneyrea WI
Margaret McMillan Bowl – (Mary Boyd Competition 2022 – 2nd Place) Christina Haycock, Newtownbreda WI
Mourne Cup (Best poem written by a WI member published in the Ulster Countrywoman magazine during the previous calendar year) Daphne Wylie, Pomeroy WI
Quoile Trophy (Best overall Ulster Countrywoman magazine cover photograph published during the previous calendar year) Wilma Buick, Kells & Connor WI
Phyllis Gailey Trophy (Literary Competition – 1st Place) Lorraine Girvan, Downpatrick WI
Waringstown Cup (Scrapbook Competition – Open class – 1st Place) Broughshane WI
Crystal Cup (Scrapbook Competition – Front Cover class – 1st Place) Mosside WI
Crystal Cup (Scrapbook Competition – Single Page class – 1st Place) Mosside WI


Congratulations to all the super talented trophy winners, most of whom are pictured here after the awards presentation at the AGM.


Here are some more snapshots of a successful day…


Federation Chairman Margaret Broome admiring the beautiful floral display by Sandra Abbott of Drumbeg WI.


The AGM Platform Party (L-R): Federation Treasurer Sheelagh McRandal, Federation Vice-Chairman Kathleen Verner, Federation President Lady Anthony Hamilton and Federation Chairman Margaret Broome.


Lady Anthony takes to the mic (centre), with Federation Vice-Chairman Kathleen Verner (left) and Federation Chairman Margaret Broome (right).


Members mingle as the AGM gets underway.



Federation Chairman Margaret Broome with Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster President Peter Alexander.



Centre stage – guest speaker Adrian Morrow delivers his presentation against the beautiful backdrop of Glenarm Castle.


Members checking out the International display table.


Snapping a selfie while setting up their stand – the lovely ladies from The Big Lunch, an Eden Project community initiative.



Representatives from Women’s Aid, who were on hand to chat to members and offer advice.




A representative from the charity Advice NI, The Independent Advice Network.


Homecraft pieces sitting proudly on display, as seats start to fill for the AGM.


Beautiful artwork on display at the Arts Sub-Committee’s table, including the WI scarf designed by Therese Mageean of Saintfield WI.


A showcase of the Magazine and Leisure Sub-Committee’s events & competitions.


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