Rotary President addresses Annual General Meeting
The AGM of the Club on Thursday 7th November in the Library was well attended. Mr John Robson, Rotary Club Liaison Officer, chaired the election of officers for 2020. The following were elected; President, Audrey Hodge, Vice-President, Margaret Cummings, Treasurer, Pamela McClelland, Assistant, Marjorie Greening, Secretary, Hazel Richards, Press Secretary, Anne McBain, Health and Safety Officer, Lisa Bullick and Pastoral Care, Cate McCrory and Margaret Scott.
The speaker was Mr John Bimson, President of Omagh Rotary Club, who took as his topic “A 50 year journey though houses we have lived in”. John gave a fascinating insight into “his journey”, from infancy in Newport, Monmouthshire, to childhood years in Yorkshire, to University life in Liverpool and to Northern Ireland where he met his wife Joan. Together they moved to Chorley, near Preston to a property built in the 1860’s with ample space for his love of gardening and being outdoors.
Their most life-changing move was to Wellfield House, Berwickshire, in the Scottish Borders. The property dated from 1750 and had been remodelled in 1904. Following extensive renovations John and Joan were approached by the tourist board in nearby Kelso to build on their love of entertaining and accept paying guests in their luxury country home. John vividly recalled many humorous stories from this time. Joan shared with the meeting letters of appreciation from visitors from all over the world. Judging by the comments, guests were very well entertained indeed, enjoying Edwardian Breakfasts lasting well into the day as well as large dinner parties.
Their present home in Newtownstewart is more restful but they continue to enjoy life to the full and continue to enjoy contributing to community life.
The members of Omagh & District Ladies’ Probus were honoured to have Liz Weir as their guest speaker at their October meeting on Thursday, 3rd October. Liz started off as Children’s Librarian in Belfast where she discovered the healing power of stories. She is now Storyteller in Residence for the city of Belfast. She is involved in a number of storytelling organisations including The Early Years Organisation, where she talks to children about racism, anti-bullying and respect for the elderly.
Liz works around the world and we were delighted that she took time out of her busy schedule, especially on National Poetry Day, to come to speak to us in Omagh. She entertained our members and also representatives from Dungannon Ladies’ Probus who were our guests on this occasion. |She spoke movingly about her work and the effect that it has had on children through more turbulent times in our history; and at the other extreme when she has been working with people with Alzheimers.
Lilian Collins expressed a vote of thanks to Liz on behalf of our members. Rae Gallagher, President of Dungannon, spoke to thank Omagh for their invitation to join them for the afternoon and to thank Liz for her witty and poignant tales.
Our group will have their AGM on November 7th. Our meetings are held at 2pm in Omagh Library and, if you are interested, please come along and join us.
On Thursday 6th June, members of Omagh Ladies Probus Club accompanied by some members of the Men’s Club travelled to RPSI Museum at Whitehead. Following a light lunch, members were treated to a most informative and interesting visit to the Railway Museum exhibits. One of the highlights of the visit was to see the restoration work on old railway stock which takes place only at the site in Whitehead.
The outing culminated in a most enjoyable meal in the Royal Hotel Cookstown where the organisers were thanked for their planning of the day. The Ladies’ Club resumes meetings on the first Thursday of September with an open meeting when the guest speaker will be the eminent historian, Dr Eamon Phoenix.
Our speaker for our May meeting was Audrey Hodge. Audrey spoke on the topic of “Wit and Wisdom”. She opened her entertaining talk with the quote that “inside every older person is a young person wondering what happened” – a sentiment we all agreed with! We agreed that as long as we were fit and healthy (and able to use our bus passes), all was well.
Audrey recommended a few things to help us to stay well, including minimizing multi-tasking, exercising regularly, learning something new and taking the time to embrace boredom and look around you. Amid laughter, she concluded by saying “Time is a great healer, but a poor beautician”
Zoe Reid spoke for us all when she thanked Audrey for her most enjoyable talk.
There will be no formal meeting in June as the club members are going on a trip to Whitehead. Our next formal meeting will be held in Omagh Library on the first Thursday in September (5th). On that occasion our guest speaker will be Dr Eamon Phoenix, political historian and broadcaster and former head of life-long learning at Stranmillis University College, Belfast. This is an open meeting and we will be pleased to welcome anyone who is interested to that meeting. Further details will be published before that meeting.
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 & District Ladies’ Probus had their monthly meeting on Thursday, 7 March in Omagh Library. The guest speaker on this occasion was Dr Patrick Fitzgerald from the Mellon Centre for Migration Studies.
Dr Fitzgerald focused his talk on the power of illustration. His interest in this began when he was organizing an exhibition called “Emigrants” in 1994 for the Ulster-American Folk Park which covered 2 centuries of emigration. It formed the basis of the book he co-authored with Brian Lambkin: “Migration in Irish History: 1607 – 2007”
Artists in the 18th century tended to focus their work on pastoral scenes as they worked for commission at that stage, so they tended to produce “pretty” scenes for their patrons. It was not until 1800 that work depicting Irish emigration was produced, and we were shown a painting by John James Barralet, himself an immigrant to America, which showed people arriving in America. The title of this painting was “Liberty welcoming the arrival of the Immigrants”.
Dr Fitzgerald then illustrated his talk on Irish emigration with paintings from a variety of artists, including Joseph Barbour+, Samuel Waugh, Elizabeth, Lady Butler, Jack Yeats and Sean Keating among others.
Lena Rutledge spoke on behalf of the members and thanked Dr Fitzgerald for his most interesting talk which kept everyone fascinated.
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 Sir Bob Salisbury. This meeting will be at 2pm on Thursday 4th April in Omagh Library.
History All Around Us
Omagh & District Ladies’ Probus had their monthly meeting on Thursday, 7 February in Omagh Library. Their guest speaker was Frank Sweeney. Frank is no stranger to Ladies’ Probus, having spoken on a prior visit about Street Art in Omagh. His topic on this occasion was Historic Monuments and Sites in Tyrone.
He gave an illustrated and very interesting talk about local ancient sites in the local area. These included Beaghmore Stone Circles, Dun Ruadh, the Creggandeveskey Court Tomb, Cregganconroe Burial Site, Aghascrebagh Ogham Stone and Dunmisk Fort. Even those of us who had visited some of these sites learned so much from Frank’s very entertaining and informative talk.
He brought us closer to our own time and discussed places of interest such as Dunmullan Church and Graveyard, Donaghanie Graveyard and the local legend associating it with St Patrick, and Drumragh Old Church and Graveyard.
His talk provoked many questions from those in attendance. On behalf of those present, Rosemary Clements thanked Frank for addressing the meeting and for his extremely interesting talk.
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 Dr Patrick Fitzgerald who will be speaking on Emigration & Genealogy. This meeting will be at 2pm on Thursday, 7th March in Omagh Library.