An exciting year comes to an end for Larne WI

Matthew Lorimer at Ballymoney Show on Saturday. Picture: Steven McAuley
Matthew Lorimer at Ballymoney Show on Saturday. Picture: Steven McAuley

Larne Women’s Institute brought its very busy year to an end by presenting a cheque for £500 to the Motor Neuron Disease Association.

Recently some members got fully into the spirit of the Giro d’Italia, by making 300 metres of pink bunting which ‘pinked up’ Larne Market Yard beautifully.

Larne Borough Council funded the venture, supported by Sew Good in Larne and Craftswoman in Carrickfergus. The ladies were insistent that their efforts would be beneficial beyond the day of the Giro, and a representative from Cancer Focus UK was delighted to receive the bunting for its Breast Cancer Awareness programme.

The Institute welcomes members of all ages and it recently marked the birthday of one of its more senior members. Mrs Ima Kohne reached her 90th birthday last month and despite her age Ima is a very active and enthusiastic member.

The Institute is also very aware of the needs to keep in touch with the younger generation and to pass on skills to them. To this end a group of members have been working in two primary schools in the town, Moyle PS and St MacNissi’s PS. A weekly after-schools club focusing on sewing and knitting skills was enthusiastically received both by staff and students.

However, the learning was not one-sided. One student showed the ladies the latest crafting craze; making loom bands. Proving that you are never too old to learn, or never too young to teach.

For the first time in the history of the Institute, a member – Elaine Kirkpatrick – has been awarded a ‘full circle’. This outstanding achievement involves completing around 72 different items, covering different crafts from lace-making to upholstery.

Following Elaine’s example, the Institute was very successful in the recent Area Competitions, winning the Institute with the highest points in the Floral Art and Craft sections.

June Stirling was the individual with the most points in the Craft section, and to bring the day to a wonderful close, another member – Isobel Clark – had the most points overall.

Members from Larne are also very willing to participate in events run by headquarters. At the Balmoral Show, not only was success achieved in the craft competitions, but members got their sleeves rolled up to help in the tea tent.

Throughout the year the Institute has a varied programme of speakers and outings and new members are always welcome. It meets in First Larne Presbyterian Church hall on the first Monday of the month from September to June at 7.45pm.

Anyone interested in finding out more should contact Eilish on 02828276159 or Frances on 07803272393.