Probus A.G.M. 2018

Wednesday 24 January 2018: Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting was well attended with 26 members present.  At the start members stood for a moment in silent tribute to Paul Gallagher and Drew Clements who had passed away in 2017.  Those unable to attend through illness or incapacity were also remembered.  Thereafter the meeting followed the usual agenda for an AGM, beginning with the reading and adoption of the minutes of the previous AGM held on 11 January 2017.  The Treasurer’s Report showed a healthy balance for the calendar year 2017, while the Secretary’s Report highlighted significant events during the year.   Before vacating the chair out-going President, John McCandless invested Bob Lingwood as Honorary President 2018 in recognition of his long service to the club and in celebration of his 100th year;  Bob will be 100 in September.   As is the custom in the Probus Club, the Vice-President, Mr Paddy McGowan was elected President and the 2nd Vice-president, Mr Oliver Loughran was elevated to 1st Vice-President.  Mr Micheal Cooney will be the 2nd Vice-President in 2018.   Mr Gerry McGonigle returned to the top table as Secretary, following the decision of Mr Felim O’Neill to step down from that office.   Since the remaining officials in the club were happy to remain in post, the Club can look forward with confidence to 2018.

Probus Presentation to PHAB

Wednesday 17 January 2018: Kathleen McLaughlin, Chairperson, Omagh PHAB Club

PHAB Presentation
 President. John McCandless, presenting a cheque to Kathleen McLaughlin, Chairperson of PHAB accompanied by Rosin McConnell, founder member of Omagh PHAB

The Probus meeting arranged for Wednesday 17 January 2018 was cancelled due to weather;  heavy snow had fallen across the Province making travel difficult.   The AGM was postponed until the following week and Kathleen McLaughlin advised that the cheque for PHAB which she was to have received at the AGM would be presented at a later date.  PHAB stands for Physically Handicapped and Able-Bodied and was the local charity chosen by Probus President, John McCandless, to receive the proceeds of the raffle held at the Club Christmas luncheon in December.   In the event the presentation took place a few days later in private when Kathleen met John to receive a cheque for £300 from the Club.   In a note of thanks and appreciation Mrs McLaughlin explained how useful the money would be to PHAB whose funding comes entirely from  community organisations such as Probus and local businesses.  Omagh PHAB has a membership of approximately 40 persons of whom 15 -20 are able to attend regularly, meeting once or twice each month.   PHAB inspires people with and without disabilities to make more of life together and as a club is very proud if its achievements. Over the years club members have travelled widely to share in adventurous outdoor activities with visits to Germany, Belgium, Spain and Moscow.  However for many in the Club their most memorable holiday experience was a visit to the Holy Land achieved through co- operation between Omagh PHAB and the Order of Malta.

New Year Message

Wednesday 10 January 2018:  Rev Robert Heron and Fr. Kevin Mullan

[L – R] Rev Robert Heron ,with Probus President John McCandless and Fr Kevin Mullan.

It is the custom in Omagh Probus Club to invite a member of the local clergy to the first meeting in January to deliver a New Year message.  This year members welcomed Rev Robert Heron, minister of Trinity Presbyterian Church, Omagh and Father Kevin Mullan, parish priest of Drumquin Roman Catholic Church.   Their message took the form of a conversation in which they reflected on events in the year that had passed and on the challenges of the year ahead.   The conversation began with a reflection on the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017.    Both agreed that an event which for centuries had been a cause for division in the Christian Church was no longer an obstacle to good relationships.   In the years since the Omagh bomb in 1998, concerted efforts to develop community relations  had been very fruitful, helped in no small measure by the work of the Churches’ Forum.  Rev Robert and Fr Kevin felt strongly that in 2018 the Church should continue to speak up for truth and speak out for moral values such as respect and responsibility.   Throughout, the conversation was enlivened by the sort of good-natured banter that can only take place between close friends.  The session ended with a reading by Rev Heron and the blessings of both men on the club and its members for the year ahead.

New year at Ladies’ Probus

Val Burch (President), Zoe Reid (Vice President) & Father Eugene Hasson

Omagh and District Ladies Probus Club members encouraged to address the busyness of life.

At the January meeting of Omagh and District Ladies Probus club, President Val Burch extended a warm welcome to guest speaker Father Eugene Hasson, Parish Priest in Drumragh Parish.

Father Eugene Hasson, in his New Year Reflection, encouraged members to take time to usher in the New Year.

He commenced his talk by referring to the Roman god Janus, pictorially depicted with two opposite facing heads, illustrating that a new year is both a time of reflection and expectation.

In self reflection, Father Hasson shared snippets of his ministry locally and in America, memorable experiences which had shaped his life, and how his work has evolved over the years.

Whilst looking forward to the months ahead, members were reminded that in the fast, ever changing technological world we live in, with so many time consuming distractions, it is all too easy to succumb to the modern day disease of ‘Chronic Busyness’ which saps enjoyment and productivity from our lives.
Father Hasson quoted the inspirational writings of Thomas Merton, a twentieth century Trappist monk, who highlighted the ineffectiveness of this, stating that “by allowing oneself to surrender to too many demands and to commit to too many projects, we destroy our own inner capacity for peace and destroy the fruitfulness of our work.”

Members were encouraged to look for balance in their lifestyles and identify ways they could free up time to enrich their lives and nurture themselves, body, mind and spirit, bringing joy into their lives this year.

Father Hasson concluded his message by putting forward a practical eight point planner in self care which included slowing down, paying attention to technological use, becoming more physically active, decluttering our lives, cultivating relationships, enjoying nature, and nurturing our relationship with God.

Member Mary Keane, thanked Father Hasson on behalf of the club for his inspiring message which would encourage members to focus on their wellbeing this New Year.

The next meeting will take place on Thursday 1st February in Omagh Library when Mr. Alistair Moran will speak on “Highland Costume.”