The Historical Society is coming to the end of what has been a very successful season, with talks on a wide variety of themes including Protestants and the Irish language, the Ballymena Music Festival, and migration in Irish history. Bishop Donal McKeown visited us in February and shared his memories on what made it special to grow up in Randalstown and in March Dr Brian Ford reminisced about a trip he made to the Taj Mahal by car in the 1970s. We also found out about Richard Kane, born in Duneane, who had a distinguished military career and became Governor of Menorca in the early 1700s. He is still honoured as a hero on Menorca on account of the reforms he introduced to improve the life of the islanders. A fine memorial to his life can be seen in Westminster Abbey.
Our last meeting of the season takes place on Thursday 6 April at 8.00 pm in Arches House. Our speaker will be Dr Ann McVeigh, formerly of the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland. The title of Ann’s talk is ‘Vere Foster: the Man who Paid Women to Go Away’. Vere Foster is remembered for his contribution to education in Ireland but Ann’s talk will cover other intriguing aspects of his life.
Our annual outing takes place on Saturday 13 May and this year we will be going to Ballyscullion Park near Bellaghy for a tour of the house and garden followed by lunch. We will also visit the Home Place, the Seamus Heaney centre in Bellaghy.
We will soon be making plans for the 2017-18 season, which will start in September. New members will be made very welcome.