Knockagh – Spring Area Meeting

Posted June 20, 2022 by WI Staff in Local Areas

Excited after a break of two years, members of the Women’s Institute met in Templepatrick Presbyterian Church Hall for the Knockagh Area Spring Meeting. The speaker was Joanne McConville, a County Antrim woman who fell 6,500 feet to earth and lived to tell the tale!

After the President’s report from Margaret Harbison, the Homecraft report from Pat Grant, the Federation report from Pamela Robinson, the Magazine and Leisure report from Amy Moore, the International report  from Margaret Stokes and Institute reports from Carrickfergus and Mossley, Joanne took the stage!

Joanne said the accident was the “most horrendous” thing that ever happened to her, adding that she didn’t know if she would live or die.

On 1st April 1995, Joanne McConville was attempting her 65th skydive at the time with her then-boyfriend and instructor Joe. The euphoria that accompanied the whole experience was suddenly cut short when her reserve and main parachute came out at the same time, causing them to become entangled and leaving her with “nothing” above her head.

As she spiralled downwards, her boyfriend tried in vain to save her and could only watch as she hit the ground at over 100 miles an hour. Amazingly she lived but lost several teeth in the fall and broke several bones in her face, legs, arms, and pelvis.

Not only did Joanne live but she returned to her career in nursing. She gives motivational talks on topics such as Trauma Recovery, Near Death Experience, Resilience and Emotional Intelligence.

To mark the 27th anniversary of the accident Joanne has written a book, ‘My Piece of Sky’, about her experience, her recovery and her changing values.



After a break for tea, Margaret Harbison, Knockagh Area President congratulated Diana Thompson on her six year term of office as representative for the Knockagh Area on the Federation of Women’s Institutes Executive.

Awards were then presented by Margaret Harbison and  Pamela Robinson.


Knockagh Area Spring Meeting Competition results:

*Lennon Cup (Novice Baking)1st Jennifer Johnston (Muckamore WI), 2nd Pat Duddy (Ballyclare WI), 3rd Isabel Bingham (Mossley WI)

*Blossom Beattie Cup (Open Baking)1st Elizabeth Gray (Muckamore WI), 2nd Pat Beggs (Carrickfergus WI), 3rd Jean McCollum (Muckamore WI)

*McBride Cup (Open Craft)1st Pat Duddy (Ballyclare WI), 2nd Ann Graham (Mossley WI), 3rd Nancy Wharry (Mossley WI)

*Ashcroft Cup (Novice Floral Art) 1st Pat Grant (Ballyclare WI), 2nd Elizabeth Gray (Muckamore WI) 3rd Greta Crawford (Carrickfergus WI)

*Ashcroft Cup (Open Craft)1st Marlene Watt (Muckamore WI), 2nd Mary Thompson (Muckamore WI), 3rd Roberta Stinson (Templepatrick WI)

*Morton Trophy (Team Baking) – 1st Templepatrick WI, 2nd Muckamore WI, 3rd Ben Madigan WI

*Knockagh Cup1st Muckamore WI, 2nd Ballyclare WI, joint 3rd Templepatrick WI & Mossley WI


June McGrugan gave the vote of thanks and the evening closed with ‘A Countrywoman’s Song’.




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