Over the past month The Rotary Club of Ballymoney has had very interesting meetings starting with the District Governors visit and then a historical tour of Derry’s walls.
On 1st September, the Club was at a joint meeting in the Lodge Hotel with Ballycastle, Coleraine and Limavady Clubs where a cheque for £4,700 was handed over for Research in Prostatic Cancer. This was raised at Dad’s Day at Dunluce Castle held in June.
The District Governor’s visit is an important day in the Rotary year. This year our “leader” is Declan Tyner, who gave an inspirational talk on his ideas and plans for Rotary Ireland for the year.
His personal motto for the Rotary Ireland district is “Be a gift to the world”. He believes passionately that we should “give back and enjoy the craic”.
He congratulated Ballymoney Rotary club on reaching its 50th year and wished us well for ‘birthday celebrations’ on 21st November.
Declan thanked Ballymoney for all the projects and contributions made over the years, particularly international aid such as Gorta, polio eradication, shelter box, water aid and Jolly Rider project and also for local projects with young people, hospice and prostatic cancer awareness.
The September 9th meeting was held jointly with members of Ballycastle Rotary club with Deirbhile Mitchell as guest speaker.
A prestigious structural engineer with Ove Arup Engineering, she has been responsible for leading the teams delivering such projects as the Terminal 5 Heathrow, Terminal 2 Dublin, the London 2012 Athletes village and the new airport at Abu Dhabi. She is a member of Arup’s Global Aviation Executive and is the aviation business leader for Arup in the UK, Middle East and Africa.
Chair of the Awards Committee and a vice-president at the Royal Academy of Engineering, she has recently been appointed by UK Prime Minister David Cameron to the Council for Science and Technology CST.
Dervilla gave us a most interesting talk about her background, interesting people she has met and some details of the challenge of the projects she has delivered. A great, great, great granddaughter of Richard Aiken Austin who founded Austin’s in Derry/Londonderry (the first department store in the world, just ahead of Maceys in New York), she as born and educated in Dublin and is very proud of her Ulster ancestry.
She said that the secret of her success of her career was in putting people first, the project second and then lastly the cost, as far as possible!