Blue is the colour for Greenisland Flower Arrangement Society’s 45th anniversary

Greenisland Flower Arrangement Society recently marked its 45th anniversary with a dinner at Magheramorne Estate, Larne.

Monday, 11th October 2021, 2:47 pm

A total of 30 members attended the celebration with Marretta Coleman, chair of the Northern Ireland Group of Flower Arrangement Societies (NIGFAS),as the special guest.

Phyllis Boyd, vice chair of NIGFAS and a member of the Greenisland club, was also in attendance at the gathering which had been postponed from May 2020.

Katie McLean, president of Greenisland Flower Arrangement Society, greeted everyone and a welcome drink was provided on the terrace, allowing members - many of whom were wearing something blue to mark the sapphire anniversary - to enjoy the garden at the estate and catch up in the first face to face occasion since March 2020.

Marretta Coleman, chair of NIGFAS, joins Alison McAuley, chair of the Greenisland club, as she cuts the celebratory cake.

Alison McAuley, chair of the Greenisland club, began proceedings by inviting Marretta Coleman to accompany her in cutting the celebration cake.

Katie McLean said grace before a delightful meal was served.

The programme continued with Alison proposing a toast to NIGFAS to which Marretta responded. Short speeches and the awarding of trophies were announced by Judith de Fleury, club treasurer.

Winners in the novice class were Carolyn McWhirter, Christine Cahoon, Vera McClean and Sharon Wilson. Open class trophies were awarded to Jackie Gilmour, Jemma Boyd (tied), Phyllis Boyd and Elizabeth McJury. Marion Money and Dianne Innes shared the Mary Blair Trophy while Jacqui Anderson won the Sarah Gardner Trophy, all from competition work at club level held before lockdown, which saw meetings conducted via Zoom when committee members stepped up to help members enjoy their hobby by introducing new techniques and designs. Flowers were presented to each winner and to the NIGFAS representatives.

Katie McLean, president and Alison McAuley, chair, prepare to welcome guests to Greenisland Flower Arrangement Society's 45th anniversary dinner at Magheramorne Estate.

Special thanks were expressed to those who had made the evening special using their skills and talents: Denise Cunningham, Jean Robinson and Linda Nelson who made the corsages; Mary Carson who made the beautifully crafted placecards and table favours; Denise who made the exquisite decorations for the cake; as well as the committee members who provided the colour co-ordinated table arrangements which one member from each table was able to take home.

Sarah Gardner, as a long-serving member, provided material for the club archive and delighted members in her talk with her description of the dress code expected of flower arranging ladies in 1975 when the club was first formed in Greenisland, donning a stylish hat to illustrate her point.

The club meets in Oakfield Community Centre Oakfield Drive in Carrickfergus on the third Thursday of each month, September to May, drawing membership from all over east Antrim.

Meetings will resume on Thursday, October 21, when membership fees and magazine subscriptions will be collected and members are encouraged to “bring a friend for free”.

Long-serving member Sarah Gardner gives a flavour of club life in the early days.

On that evening Colleen Hamill, a newly qualified NIGFAS area demonstrator, will demonstrate some designs entitled, ‘Just Around the Corner’.

The club would be happy to have anyone interested to join with them - new members are always welcome for times of ‘Friendship and Flowers’.

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Click here to read: More wild flower sites in Mid and East Antrim drive ‘to improve biodiversity’

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