06th July 2017
Margaret Cunningham, one of our Community Assistants in Derry, hosts a Big Lunch at Farland Way every year but this year was the biggest and boldest yet.
Around 80 happy residents and guests thronged to the 4th of July Big Lunch Barn Dance where, amid the fabulous props of cattle, cartwheels and cowboys the order of the day was family, festivity, food and above all fun.
This truly was an event for the whole community with guests from far and wide joining the local residents. A delegation from Engage with Age travelled by mini bus from Belfast and arrived to a great welcoming reception. Laurence Wright, East Belfast Development Officer with Engage with Age said it was ‘a great event to bring together two cities that are miles apart but on a day like this we are as close as neighbours’. Dance facilitator, Turlough O'Neill (temporarily transformed into President Donal Trump) came all the way from Newry to lead the jives, set dances and line dances. Folk singer, Danny Mc Gilloway, gave up a day in the recording studio to lead the sing along and Maolíosa McHugh, Mayor of Derry City and showed off his impressive dancing ability as he waltzed with residents. SDLP’s Mark Durkan and Sinn Fein’s Karen Mullan and Pensioner of the Year Noreen Arnold were also in attendance to join the fun. Ballymagroarty & Hazelbank Community Partnership arranged for the visit of the impressive Wild Birds of Prey, COSY Club laid on the catering and even the hay bales came all the way from Dungiven!
Now an Ambassador for the Big Lunch, Margaret said ‘I love the community involvement in Big Lunches and Eden Communities Projects - it is great for breaking down barriers between people - senior citizens and young kid. I get the greatest pleasure and contentment in seeing adults and children of all ages come together to share food, ideas and memories and make new happy memories together.’
In the words of Mayor Maoliosa Mc Hugh, ‘this is what community is all about. Sharing good times with each other.’