Gala Dinner marks 50 years
The Rotary Club of Ballymoney celebrated its 50th Anniversary at a Gala Dinner at the Lodge Hotel, Coleraine, attended by 178 members and guests including District 1160 District Governor, Rotarians from local Clubs, Founder Members, Past Presidents, visiting Scottish Rotarians, members of Inner Wheel and local Probus Clubs.
Ballymoney’s own 37 Club members meet weekly to promote friendship and service to community. Recent service initiatives have included creating a garden for residents of Shiels Court, cross community sponsorship for young people to participate in outdoor activities at Ardclinis Centre, Stroke Awareness blood pressure monitoring at Ballymoney Show, and sponsoring the annual Rotary Youth Leadership Competition.
Through this competition, several local young ‘leaders’ have been chosen to represent N Ireland at the Euroscola of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
Charity Fundraising annual events include our Charity Breakfast, President’s Night Dinner, Ladies Night, and Christmas Dinner with Inner Wheel and local Probus Clubs. In June 2015 a very successful Dad’s Day family fun and cycling day organised jointly with other local Rotary Clubs,raised £4,700 for donation to Prostate Cancer UK. Other local charities supported by our Club include Salvation Army, St Vincent de Paul, Children in Crossfire, Cheers Youth Club and Ballymoney Food Bank.
Donations to many national charities include Macmillan Cancer, Marie Curie, RNIB, Parkinson’s UK, and NI Childrens Hospice. International charity donations have been made recently to Rotary Foundation, Polio Plus polio eradication appeal, Jaipur artificial Limb Foundation, Water Aid in Africa, and Jole Rider Appeal which provides vital bicycle transport for children in rural Africa to attend school. Recent disaster appeals have been supported such as the Boxing Day Tsunami Appeal, Earthquake in Haiti Appeal, and recently the Tibet Earthquake Appeal.
Local pupils have been sponsored to travel abroad with Operation Raleigh and a Girl Guides project in Mexico working with street children.
The Jack Pinkerton Award, commenced in 1990,is awarded annually in memory of our Founding President, Jack Pinkerton, to recognise outstanding service to our community by an individual or group. Recent recipients of this award include St John’s Ambulance, Ballymoney Drama Festival, Dr John Johnston, Black Santa Liam Beckett, Mr David Robinson, and Mr John W D Pinkerton.
Many and varied speakers at our meetings have included the Lord Lieutenant of County Antrim Joan Christie, Chief Executive of the new Causeway Coast and Glens Council David Jackson, the Clerk of the NI Assembly Trevor Reaney, journalist Alf McCreary, international rugby star Andrew Trimble, local football pundit and raconteur Liam Beckett and many other speakers on topics ranging from longbows to wine and cheese. Our members have had many interesting outings including Corrymeela, Stormont, Rathlin Island, Belfast City Hall, Magilligan Prison, Titanic Exhibition, Derry’s Walls, and local dairy, sheep and strawberry farms.
Leisure activities have included clay pigeon shooting, karting, pitch and putt, golf, bowling, horse riding, cycling, sporting rugby and ice hockey fixtures, and also cultural visits to Ballymoney Drama festival and Riverside Theatre musicals. Since 1970 we have had close links with our nearest geographical Scottish Rotary Club of Mid Argyll, Loughgilpead, and have enjoyed many exchange visits to them. Members have enjoyed many warm welcomes when visiting other Rotary Clubs worldwide.
Following the recent press coverage of our ‘work and play’, should any members of the public be interested in further details of applying for Rotary Club membership, please contact email [email protected] for information.