‘Day of Rural Women’ marked

From left to right is Agnes Black, International Chairman, Elizabeth Warden, Federation Chairman and Margaret McMillan, ACWW European Area President.

From left to right is Agnes Black, International Chairman, Elizabeth Warden, Federation Chairman and Margaret McMillan, ACWW European Area President.

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The Federation of Women’s Institutes of Northern Ireland recently celebrated the International Day of Rural Women with their annual World Rural Women’s Day Meeting at the Loughshore Hotel, Carrickfergus.

The meeting was chaired by Agnes Black (Boardmills WI) the Chairman of the International Sub-Committee of the Federation.

The main purpose of the meeting was to report to the members about the Associated Countrywomen of the World (ACWW) 28th Triennial World Conference which was held in August at the University of Warwick, Coventry. Twenty-two delegates (including one brave husband) from Northern Ireland attended the Conference with representatives from 42 countries across the globe.

The members of the Federation were told about the continuing generosity of their Organisation and individuals within it who provided sponsorship to assist delegates from Sri Lanka, Estonia and Latvia attend the World Conference.

Members were also told about the many Resolutions which were discussed at the conference including the use of Fructose as an alternative to sugar, the regulation of the shale gas and gold mining industries, the plight of women and children in refugee camps etc. The members were informed that the Resolutions passed at the Conference would be taken forward by the ACWW UN Committee.

Reports were received about the work of the ACWW Agriculture and Projects Committees. The WI has representatives on both Committees from Northern Ireland. Since 1977 ACWW has funded over 1000 Projects and has distributed £2.2 million in grants to some of the poorest communities in the world. The WI in Northern Ireland have always been one of the most generous member societies.

The WI members were also delighted that at the Conference Margaret McMillan (Mosside WI) had been appointed European Area President. At the meeting Margaret gave the members an idea of what was expected of her in that role and how she would be very involved in arranging the European Area Conference in Romania next September.

The conference was not all hard work and at the conclusion of the meeting some of the members put on the entertainment which they had performed at the Conference on the evening “The World Entertains”.

The meeting was followed by the Autumn Council Meeting of the Federation which was chaired by the Federation President, Lady Anthony Hamilton. The guest speaker was Susie Millar who told a very personal story about the involvement of her late great grandfather with the ill-fated Titanic. Reports were received from Federation Chairman, Elizabeth Warden, and Treasurer, Elsie Loughlin, and the six Sub-Committees and awards were presented. Nuala Doran (Armoy) sang the beautiful folk song Carrickfergus.