Autumn Council Meeting & World Rural Women’s Day 2017

Posted November 30, 2017 by WI Staff in Event Reports

WI members from all over the province descended upon the Killyhevlin Hotel in Enniskillen for two very important meetings on the WI calendar.  During the morning, the International Sub-Committee ladies held their annual World Rural Women’s Day to celebrate the International Day of Rural Women.  The meeting was well attended and chaired by Rowallane Area Executive Member Agnes Black, who is Chairman of the International Sub-Committee. The guest speaker was Anne Marit Hovstad from Norway, who is the current Chairman of the Projects Committee of the Associated Countrywomen of the World (ACWW).  The Women’s Institute in Northern Ireland is a very generous Member Society of ACWW.  The Projects Committee is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, having in that time supported over 1,000 Projects.

These Projects benefit, principally, women and children in various underprivileged areas of the world.  Anne Marit delivered a very informative presentation on various ACWW Projects, many of which had been supported by WI members in Northern Ireland.

The remainder of the meeting was devoted to reports from various delegates about their attendance at the European Area Conference of ACWW in Tirgu Mures, Romania in September.  The meeting closed with the singing of the traditional Song of Peace.

In the afternoon the Autumn Council Meeting was held and Federation President Lady Anthony Hamilton chaired the proceedings.  Reports were delivered by Federation Chairman Elizabeth Warden and Federation Treasurer Elsie Loughlin, and written reports by the Chairmen of the Federation’s six Sub-Committees were also circulated.  The Chairman of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Stephen McCann, brought the greetings of the Council to the meeting and welcomed those attending to the west of the province.  With 21 WI Area groups, the Erne Area is the only one that comprises an entire county and is capably looked after by Norma Heap, Executive Member for the Area.

Various trophies were presented, including the Macausland Rosebowl which is awarded to the Institute of the Year.  The Rosebowl was awarded to the Glenarm Institute for the WI season September 2016 – June 2017. Glenarm WI is a very small Institute consisting of approximately 12 members so achieving this accolade is most impressive.

The guest speakers for the afternoon were the Very Reverend Kenneth Hall and the Right Reverend Monsignor Peter O’Reilly, who discussed their work preparing for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee visit to Enniskillen in June 2012 and explained how they continue to work together within the community.  The two gentlemen were extremely interesting, amusing and had their audience enthralled.

Stella Talbot of Newtownbutler WI delivered the Vote of Thanks. Newtownbutler is another very small Institute but the members are always willing to take on their responsibilities in the Erne Area and beyond.

Lady Anthony, in her closing remarks, wished all the ladies a safe journey home and the proceedings came to a close with the singing of A Countrywoman’s Song.

WI ladies and special guests at the Autumn Council Meeting/World Rural Women’s Day, pictured (L-R): Right Reverend Monsignor Peter O’Reilly, ACWW European Area President Margaret McMillan of Mosside WI, International Sub-Committee Chairman Agnes Black, Federation Chairman Elizabeth Warden, Anne Marit Hovstad from Norway, Councillor Stephen McCann of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Federation President Lady Anthony Hamilton, Federation Treasurer Elsie Loughlin, Federation Vice-Chairmen Beth Irwin and Very Reverend Kenneth Hall.



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