Ms Geraldine Keys

[L – R] Albert Allen, Geraldine Keys, Oliver Loughran, Gerry Knight.
Meeting of Wednesday 24 April 2019: Speaker: Geraldine Keys from “Action on Hearing Loss”
Formerly known as the RNID “Action on Hearing Loss” is a charity which helps those with impaired hearing to access all amenities and services.   In Northern Ireland one person in six is affected; over 20,000 are profoundly deaf and the statistics are rising because people are living longer.   The Charity works with the Health Service by providing a Hearing Aid Users Support Service, which advises people on how to use, wear and maintain hearing aids.   An important part of the work is supporting people with Tinnitus, a condition for which there is no cure but ways of coping that make life easier.   Ms Keys regretted that too many persons wait too long before seeking help with hearing loss, one plausible reason being that hearing aids are not fashion accessories like glasses.   In a wide-ranging talk she explained that the main causes of hearing loss were age, illness, drugs, head injury, and regular exposure to loud noise: 50% of childhood deafness is inherited.   The effects of hearing loss on the individual are considerable and include depression, social isolation, frustration, anger, loss of confidence and difficulties communicating.  Her talk ended with a check list of symptoms which indicate impaired hearing and some useful tips on how those blessed with good hearing can communicate more sympathetically with those who struggle to hear what is going on in the world around them. Her talk generated many questions and a sincere vote of thanks from Probian Kenneth Collins.

Mr Michael Clarke

Meeting of Wednesday 17th April 2019
Speaker: Mr Michael Clarke. Topic: Lough Erne – Catilina Flying Boats

[L-R] Probus Vice-President, Michael Cooney, Michael Clarke, President, Oliver Loughran
 Mr Clarke is the Admiral of Lough Erne Yacht Club located at Gublusk Bay, Killeadeas on the site where a squadron of Catilina Flying Boats was based during World War II. His talk embraced not just the history of the site, but the contribution made to the war effort by Catalinas in both the Atlantic and Pacific Theatres. Deigned and built in America the Catilina Flying boat was the most advanced aircraft of its type when war broke out in 1939. It was a true flying boat with the hull of a speed boat supporting a wing high above the fuselage to prevent water from being sucked into the engines. Catilinas were ideal for patrolling the Western Atlantic where in 1940 U-boats were harassing the allied mercantile fleet. Initially they operated from bases on the Solway Firth but once a secret deal had been done with the “Free State” that allowed them to overfly Donegal a squadron was posted to Lough Erne in 1941. Along with Sunderland Flying Boats operating out of Castle Archdale they helped win the Battle of the Atlantic and played a prominent role in tracking and sinking the Bismarck. In the far East they were successfully deployed in the Battle of Mid-way which re-established US naval supremacy in the Pacific following Pearl Harbour.   Michael was thanked for a thoroughly engaging talk by retired Naval Officer and club member, John Robson.

Inter-Club Quiz 10.04.19

Meeting of Wednesday 10th April 2019: Inter-Club

On Wednesday 10th April Omagh Probus hosted its annual Inter-Club quiz. President Oliver Loughran welcomed teams for Cookstown, Dungannon, Derry, Enniskillen and Strabane as well as two teams from Omagh Ladies Probus and one from the Golf Club. Before competition got underway club members and visitors observed a minute’s silence in memory of Club Secretary, Gerry McGonigle, who had passed away suddenly on 30th March and who had played a major part in organising the Quiz. In all 15 teams took part and after 8 rounds of 8 questions each the winners of the James Eakin Shield were the players from the Golf Club. The Bert McCrory Cup for the best Omagh Team was once again awarded to Omagh Ladies. A raffle for prizes donated by members of Omagh Probus raised over £300.00, sufficient to pay for the refreshments which had been served to members and guests as they arrived. Thanks were expressed to question master, Joseph Cummings, and Desmond Smart and his team of scrutineers for marking the answers and keeping the score.

Members of the Teams form Omagh Golf Club which won the James Eakin Trophy

President, Oliver Loughran, with the team from Omagh Ladies Probus which won the Bert McCrory Cup

Omagh Ladies retain Bert McCrory Cup

A team from  Omagh Ladies’ Probus Club retained the Bert McCrory Cup for the highest scoring Omagh team at the Omagh Men’s Probus Quiz held in Omagh Golf Club on Wednesday 10th April. The team was runner up to the winning team from Omagh Golf Club. Congratulations to all. Team members, Zoe Reid, HAzel Richards, Margaret Cummings and Audrey Hodge are pictured receiving the cup from President, Oliver Loughlin.

Omagh Ladies’ Probus hear about Field of Dreams

Speaker Sir Bob Salisbury and club member, Cate McCrory who expressed thanks                                   Field of Dreams
At the monthly meeting of Omagh and District Ladies’ Probus on Thursday afternoon, the ladies were delighted to listen to Sir Bob Salisbury telling us about his “Field of Dreams”.
After giving us some background to his move to Northern Ireland, he described the land that he and his wife, Rosemary, bought in 2002 to create their new home.  It was only when they started to plan the site and make plans for their new home and garden that they realised how little wildlife was around them.  This was reflective of the general loss of habitat for wildlife in Britain.  He mentioned the causes for this: these included land being overgrazed, and misused, modern farming methods and loss of hedgerows, drainage and house-building.  These have caused a loss of 98% of wildflower meadows, 50% of ancient lowland woods and 50% of our natural orchards.  As Bob and Rosemary planned their new home, they wondered whether they could turn the clock back and re-create a wildlife garden. 
Their first steps were to consider the outcome they wanted, look at the microclimate and draw a plan and design their new garden to provide a varied habitat for all wildlife.  Through an illustrated talk, Bob showed us the development of his garden and the huge transformation that has taken place over the last 16 years since they broke ground.  They now have a wonderful garden with a formal garden, a vegetable garden, an orchard and a lake.
Bob maintains that there is a lot of land in Ireland that is simply lying derelict and that we should all be doing our bit to provide habitats where all animals can live and flourish.  We owe it to future generations to make a small difference to wards preserving what we have now.  Given a fighting chance, nature is amazingly resilient and will return to its former glory.
Cate McCrory proposed the vote of thanks on behalf of the members of Omagh and District Ladies’ Probus.
New members, or those who may just be interested in joining Omagh & District Ladies’ Probus would be welcome to attend our next meeting when our speaker will be Audrey Hodge.   This meeting will be at 2pm on Thursday 2nd May in Omagh Library.









In Mememoriam, Gerry McGonigle

Wednesday, 3 April 2019:  In Memoriam, Gerry McGonigle

When members assembled in the Golf Club on Wednesday morning it was in the shadow of the sudden death of their esteemed Club Secretary, Gerry McGonigle, who had been laid to rest on Monday, 1st April. Probians were prominent in the large congregation which attended his funeral mass in the Sacred Heart Church and who formed a Guard of Honour outside the porch as Gerry’s coffin was carried to the hearse. The President began by thanking club members for their attendance before inviting all to stand in silent tribute to their departed colleague. In the half hour which followed member after member took the roving microphone to speak of their time with Gerry and share their personal memories of a lovely man. It was agreed that the tribute which had been written about Gerry for the local paper should be placed in the Club Archive. Read it here.

The second part of the meeting was devoted to finalising arrangements for the Annual Inter-Club Quiz and closed on an up-beat note when Eamon Cunningham proposed his friend Aidan Quinn for membership.

[L – R] Aidan Quinn, Probus President, Oliver Loughran, Eamon Cunningham