35th Anniversary

Sandra Carson, President and Founder of Ballymena Floral Art Group, cut the 35th Anniversary Cake at the Group’s celebratory Coral Dinner and Annual Prize Distribution, held on Wednesday 14th April, in Leighinmohr House Hotel

Chairman, Dr. Muriel Whitten, welcomed everyone to the Dinner and said she was delighted to see such a wonderful turnout for this important milestone in the Floral Art Group’s history. Vice Chairman, Isobel Petticrew, then took everyone on a walk down memory lane as she reminisced on the inaugural meeting held on 28 April 1975 and reminded everyone of the members who had supported the Floral Art Group in its earliest years. Margaret Barr, the club’s first Secretary, read some interesting details from the Minute Book after which other long-standing members, May Matthews and Mavis Speers, recounted some memorable evenings and wonderful events that had occurred throughout the years.

The Very Reverend William McMillan, MBE, presented the annual prizes as follows:- The Elizabeth McLeister Vase (Novice Class) went to Audrey Steede whilst the Mavis Speers Trophy (Intermediate Class) was won by Ann Sambrook. The May Matthews Salver (Open Class) was awarded to Mamie Greer whilst Margaret Bamford was presented with the Sadie Lorimer Shield (Most entries in competitions at Flower Shows and NIGFAS events).

After an excellent meal, Johann Henderson, Treasurer of the Northern Ireland Group of Flower Arrangement Societies (NIGFAS), in proposing a toast brought greetings and congratulations from NIGFAS. Sandra Carson, responding to the toast, talked of the great and lifelong passion she had for flowers and related how this passion had become the driving force behind the development of Floral Art in Ballymena and surrounding districts.

A wonderful and inspiring demonstration entitled ‘Floral Art or Flower Arranging?’ was then given by the Rev. McMillan who said that he had particular reason to be thankful to Ballymena Floral Art Group: it was the first Floral Art Group that trusted him enough to invite him to demonstrate! Mavis Speers gave the vote of thanks.

Ballymena Floral Art Group’s AGM will be held on Monday 17th May 2010, at 7.30pm, in Leighinmohr House Hotel. Afterwards, a demonstration, entitled ‘Home Grown’, will be given by members of the Floral Art Group.

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