Council launches Calling All Centenarians booklet
28th November 2022
Fermanagh Omagh District Council launched a new book entitled ‘Calling All Centenarians’ on Saturday 19 November 2022 in Enniskillen Castle Museums. This booklet is part of the Council’s work to mark the centenary of the establishment of Northern Ireland in 1921.
This reminiscence project aimed to provide a lasting legacy of stories told by people who were born over 100 years ago by recording their life stories. Five participants were interviewed.
Giving advice on how to live a long and happy life, Mrs Evie Bowles from Lisnaskea recommended starting each day with a bowl of porridge and then to sing a hymn. She died peacefully at Gortacharn Nursing Home, Lisnaskea on 19 September 2021 aged 101.
Mr Bob Lingwood from Omagh lived for 50 years in London before moving to Omagh and felt his life experience had the best of both worlds. He died peacefully on 12 February 2022 at the age of 103.
Mrs Pauline Brown from Netownbutler turned 101 on 27 September 2022. Mrs Brown says that she is continuing her long and happy life as they “forgot to send the bus for her”.
Mr Noble Hetherington turned 101 on 30 June 2022 and farmed at his home in Newtownbutler. He loves the outdoors and continues to enjoy his garden.
Now aged 103 Mr O’Reilly believes he is very lucky experiencing good health throughout his life. He says the secret of his good health is having everything in moderation.
Speaking at the launch of the booklet, Vice Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Allan Rainey MBE, said:“I am delighted that Fermanagh and Omagh District Council undertook this initiative because it is important to capture the stories of our Centenarians to create lasting legacies for future generations.
It is also important that we recognise and celebrate our Centenarians for their resilience and wisdom and for the contribution they have made, and continue to make, in our District”.
Speaking at the launch, Catherine Scott, Development Officer – Learning and Access at Enniskillen Castle Museums said:
“This project is a celebration of lives well lived and stories shared, which in many ways, matter more than revolution and war. We can relate to individual, we can see our own stories reflected in others, we feel we belong.
Throughout the zoom sessions and interviews, common themes emerged including home life, education, sport, holidays, family, all the central tenets of ordinary lives told to us in first-hand accounts. Other stories included hot water bottles, walking to school, catching the train, first cars, first loves, buying shoes (making shoes !!), trips to Bundoran, courtships and dances.
Collectively, the stories give us an insight into the simple domesticity of day, the excitement and pain of wartime and the changing role of women and expectations of society on women.”
The project was also part of NI2021 Event Programme Digital Remembering: Telling the Story of the Past for the Future which was supported by the Shared History Fund distributed by The National Lottery Heritage Fund on behalf of the Northern Ireland Office.
For more information in the Centenarian Project or a copy of the booklet please contact email@example.com or visit Centenarian Project – Fermanagh & Omagh District Council (fermanaghomagh.com).