How appropriate it was that Gracehill and Galgorm Women's Institute welcomed Ross McGookin, one of their members, to give a flower arrangement at their May Zoom meeting.
This is because Friday 7th May was National Flower Arranging Day. What a treat everyone had!
Ross made six beautiful arrangements from flowers and foliage, much of which could be found in our gardens. S
he also encouraged members to use everyday containers like jam jars, glass sauce bottles and bowls to make arrangements in. Raffia, burlap ribbon and candles can give a professional finish and add that extra special touch.
Ross is a very well known and accomplished competitor when it comes to large events and she is accustomed to designing and making arrangements for important occasions.
She patiently demonstrated how we could keep our arrangements simple and build on that as we became more confident. She emphasized the importance of enjoying the activity and the pleasure of bringing parts of plants we have nurtured in our gardens during lockdown into our homes.
At the end of the meeting names were picked out of a hat to decide the recipients.
The lucky ladies were; Hilary Sims, Barbara Totten, Lynda Brooks, Heather Hogg, Gillian Fraser and Trisha Sherrey.
Lynda gave the vote of thanks to Ross and also thanked Jean Cunningham for all her technical input.
The members have managed the past year in true WI spirit. Another event will be planned by the committee for the month of June.
Earlier in the week a number of members had represented the institute at a Rotary Club event, also on Zoom.
This event had originally been planned for International Women's Day last year, but had to be cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns.
The main speaker was Bishop Pat Storey, Minister for Meath and Kildare.
She is the first woman bishop in the British Isles. Pat was a Church of Ireland curate in Ballymena between 1997 and 2000, so a number of the institute members remember her very well.
They have followed her progress 'to the top' and enjoyed the opportunity to talk to her after her Zoom presentation. Bishop Storey is now seven years in to her fifteen year term of office and she outlined aspects of her work and her role as a woman working collaboratively in her job.
The institute president Lynda Brooks thanked Rotary Club Ballymena very much for the opportunity to take part in this event.
It is hoped that now the two vaccinations have been available to institute members, the summer months can be more fully enjoyed this year and many of those with relatives in other parts of the British Isles and further afield, can be reunited and safely spend quality times together.
Report submitted by:- Lynda Brooks.