Many happy returns to Kenmare Women’s Group

19 Kenmare women IMG_2517 will be celebrating their 20th anniversary in October!
Originally called St Patrick’s Women’s Group, it began when Alan and Vera Shaw moved to Kenmare in 1997 for Alan to take the post of Rector of St. Patrick’s Parish Church.
Having experienced the loneliness and isolation of moving to a new area, Vera decided to set up a women’s group which would help others in her situation to integrate and meet people. The problem of accommodation for such a venture was solved by the Church agreeing to the conversion of a garage space at the Rectory, which could subsequently be used for meetings. This space, known as the Resource room, was ready for occupation by September 1999. St. Patrick’s Women’s Group was now possible. The Church of Ireland provided insurance. Vera became the chair and a committee was formed.
Membership was restricted to 24 and meetings were on Tuesdays from 11am – 1pm, for 10 weeks before Christmas and 10 weeks after. Speakers were organised for each morning and paid from our membership fees. There was plenty of time available for people to socialise and get to know each other. In the off season outings were organised including visits to garden centres, restaurants and animal farms.
The group certainly fulfilled a need as in two years membership grew to 45 so it grew to two mornings a week, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. This doubled the costs and coincided with rooms becoming available at the Adult Education Centre. On moving there the name was changed to Kenmare Women’s Group and has continued to thrive.
As we note 20 continuous years, we will celebrate friendship, the seven other women who have chaired the group, the constitution that was inclusive of all comers, and all the fun and laughter we have shared. From this small seed of need grew an awareness of other possibilities that has fed the wellbeing of our members, and also the wider community. Patchwork quilting, creative writing, line dancing, UCC degree courses, to name a few.
We have planned a party to celebrate our anniversary to be held on Wednesday 23rd October at the AEC. Unfortunately, due to lack of space, we can only accommodate fully paid up members of the group so DO come and register on October 2nd. Anyone wishing to join us is very welcome.
Apart from the party, the group starts back at the AEC on Wednesday October 2nd from 11am – 1pm, every Wednesday. The new programme of speakers and events will be available in late September, and the season goes through to December 11th. If anyone wants further information please contact me at 086 3454849.
Looking forward to reuniting with friends and, hopefully, greeting new ones.
Pat (secretary).