Annual General Meeting 2019

Wednesday 16 January 2019: Annual General Meeting

President for 2019, Oliver Loughran receiving the Chain of Office from the President 2018, Mr Paddy McGowan, MBE, JP

The Annual General Meeting was well attended with 24 present. Members were welcomed by President Paddy McGowan who expressed his pleasure that Club Secretary, Gerry McGonigle was back on the top table to ensure all ran smoothly. Gerry distributed copies of the minutes of the 2018 Annual General Meeting which were taken “as read” after members had been given a few minutes to look over them. Club Treasurer, Albert Allen, then presented the accounts for the calendar year 2018; there was general satisfaction that these showed a healthy balance going forward. The Secretary’s report took the form of a review of the year, highlighting significant events such as the Annual Inter-Club Quiz in April and the All-Ireland Probus Rally in Tralee in May.   At the Annual Remembrance Day Service in October, the inspecting Officer was Dunkirk veteran, centenarian and Probian, Mr Bob Lingwood, MM. In December the Club held its annual Christmas Luncheon to which were invited the widows of past members of the club. Entertainment was provided by the Strule River String Band and the luncheon thoroughly enjoyed by all 62 members and guests.
Out-going President Paddy McGowan, MBE. JP. offered sincere thanks to all who had supported him during his year in office before formally proposing 1st Vice-president, Oliver Loughran as President for 2019.  Having received his Chain of Office and the acclaim of members, Oliver took the Chair and conducted the election of Officers for 2019.   Michael Cooney was elected 1st Vice-President and Hugh Ward, 2nd Vice-President which means that the club can look forward with confidence to the next three years; Michael will follow Oliver into the Chair in 2020 and Hugh in 2021.

Miss Claire Henderson

Wednesday 9 January 2018:  Miss Claire Henderson on her Journey of Faith

Miss Claire Henderson with Probus President , Paaddy McGowan MBE

On their first meeting of the New Year members received an uplifting and inspirational talk from Miss Claire Henderson. Now in her first year at theological college in Dublin training to become an ordained minister in the Church of Ireland she shared her hopes for the future as she moves on from a difficult and challenging past. Claire’s difficulties began when she was student at the University of Ulster in Coleraine. In the run-up to her final examinations she had dismissed a pain in her groin as a sports injury until discomfort necessitated seeing a doctor. A diagnosis of Cancer – Hodgkin’s Lymphoma – and admission to Altnagelvin for Chemotherapy made her feel that her world had fallen apart. An adverse reaction to the treatment took her to death’s door and a struggle to find God’s purpose in what she was going through. But throughout her faith never waivered and she turned increasingly to her church for direction. Between bouts of hospitalisation she continued to teach Sunday School classes in St Columba’s and take certificated courses in Church Youth Work. Encouraged by her minister she became first a Parish Reader and then in 2014 a Diocesan Reader, conducting Sunday Services throughout the Anglican Dioceses of Derry and Raphoe. In 2018 finally restored to good health and fitness she responded to God’s call to candidate for the ordained ministry. In a vote of thanks to Claire Probus Vice-President Micheal Cooney remarked on the spring in her words and the uplift all had received from her testimony.

Omagh Ladies challenged to “refire” for the year ahead

President Zoe Reid, Speaker Rev Ian Linton and Pauline O’Hagan who expressed thanks

At the opening meeting of the new year, members of Omagh and District Ladies’ Probus were addressed by local Church of Ireland Rector, Ian Linton. In his challenging message for 2019, he reflected on the experiences of John Mark as described in the book of Acts in which John Mark appeared to have given up in his work of mission, but he soon found that he was inspired to take up the challenges facing him and continue his work with Paul and Barnabas. Rev Linton reminded members that while we may feel dispirited or held back by our past experiences, that there is always hope. We do not have to be defined by our past but, instead, we can step out in faith which will lead us to the one in whom our hopes and fears are met. The Scriptures do not have a word for retirement and all were encouraged to look forward to 2019 and to be “refired” to work for good purposes in all that we do. Thanks were expressed to Rev Linton by Pauline O’Hagan.

Earlier in the meeting, President Zoe Reid had shared a poem entitled “The day that is in it” which she had written for the new year. It reminded everyone of resolutions made and then not fulfilled and reflected how most feel at the beginning of a new year.

The club members meet again on first Thursday in February in Omagh Library when Frank Sweeney will talk about Omagh Past and Present and visitors are welcome.