Midwives from across Northern Ireland attended a special Choral Evensong on Friday June 8 celebrating 100 years of the Midwives Act 1918-2018 in Ireland.

Around 150 serving and retired midwives, family, friends and others connected to midwifery attended the very happy service.

The service, organised by the Royal College of Midwives, was one of a number of events celebrating this milestone in the history of midwifery and giving thanks for midwives everywhere.

The address was given by the Dean of Belfast, the Very Rev Stephen Forde, and Gill Walton, Chief Executive of the Royal College of Midwives, read a Lesson.

Mr Roy Cune, who led some of the prayers at the Midwives 100 Service, with Mrs Diana McCay. Roy’s late mother Winnie, a midwife, trained Diana to be a midwife. There was music from the Choir of Belfast Cathedral. During the service a candle was lit in memory of all Irish midwives who have died.

Intercessions were led by serving and former midwives with the first prayers said by Mr Roy Cune whose late mother Winnie was a midwife. At the service Roy had the opportunity to meet retired midwife Diana McCay, who had been trained by Winnie many years ago.

Those attending the service enjoyed the opportunity to browse an exhibition of memorabilia of midwifery in Ireland over the years.

Belfast Cathedral parishioner Hazel McCalister, a midwife of 40 years, was one of the organisers of the Midwives 100 service. She said that midwife means ‘with women.’ “I love the privilege of being present for new life. It is such a privileged job,” she said.

(PHOTO ABOVE: Members of the Royal College of Midwives who organised the Midwives 100 service in Belfast Cathedral on June 8. From left: Anne-Marie O’Neill, administrator, RCM; Brenda Devine, centenary committee, RCM; Mary Caddell, regional officer, RCM; Breda Hughes, RCM Director NI; Anne Nolan, RCM; Gill Walton, CEO, RCM; Stephanie Wilson, midwife; Hazel McCalister, midwife and Belfast Cathedral parishioner; and Julie Gough, midwife).

Photos by Joe Paulin.

 

Looking at a scrapbook of memorabilia which was part of the Midwives 100 exhibition.

Looking at a scrapbook of memorabilia which was part of the Midwives 100 exhibition.

Midwives who attended the Choral Evensong to mark 100 years of the Midwives Act in Ireland. In the centre of the front row are Liz Duffin (wearing blue), Vice President, RCM; Dame Mary Uprichard, Vice President, RCM; and Breda Hughes, NI Director, RCM.

Midwives who attended the Choral Evensong to mark 100 years of the Midwives Act in Ireland. In the centre of the front row are Liz Duffin (wearing blue), Vice President, RCM; Dame Mary Uprichard, Vice President, RCM; and Breda Hughes, NI Director, RCM.

Dr Michael Park, consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist (retired) with Mrs Park, Deirdre Patterson, Jean McIvor and Hazel McCalister at the service.

At the Midwives 100 service are, from left: Dale Spence, lecturer in midwifery, Queen’s University; Deirdre Patterson; Jean McIvor and Hazel Patterson.

At the Midwives 100 service are, from left: Dale Spence, lecturer in midwifery, Queen’s University; Deirdre Patterson; Jean McIvor and Hazel Patterson.