The May meeting of the Bellaghy Historical Society was addressed by Mr Cormac Bourke from The Ulster Museum. His subject was the fascinating one of the Book of Kells on which he is an authority.
He explained how the dating of the book at the year 800 could be reliably taken as accurate and stressed the co-operation which existed between the Irish scribes and those of the West of Scotland who were also Gaelic speaking.
Colourful slides of the illuminated manuscript whose meaning he described in detail brought the beauty and skilful artistry to life. Mr Bourke explained that the vellum on which it was written (and which had taken the hides of 180 calves to make) was virtually indestructible and so the book had survived extremely well.
The Chairperson, Mrs Mary Breslin, thanked Mr Bourke for his most interesting talk and reminded members of the outing to the Cultra Folk Museum on 12th June. As this was the final meeting for the season.
She also pointed out to members that further copies of the book Life in the Past had been printed and were available at Muldoons and Grahams super-markets and The Bawn in Bellaghy. They could also be bought at OBriens and Andrews shops and the Bridewell in Magherafelt and at Crawfords supermarket in Maghera.
The meeting started with a short A.G.M. when Office Bearers for the 2003- 2004 season were elected. They are as follows: Chairperson Mrs Mary Breslin, Hon Treasurer Mrs Pat Henry, Hon Secretary Mrs Patricia Lowry. Committee members are Mrs Margaret Evans, Mrs Ena Hammond, Mr Dermot Keenan, Mr Ossie Leslie, Mr Sam Overend and Mr Colm Scullion.
Mr Cormac Bourke, guest speaker at the May meeting of Bellaghy Historical Society