Happy occasion as midwives celebrate centenary

Tuesday June 12th 2018

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. Photo: Joe Paulin.

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

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

Organised by the Royal College of Midwives, this service 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.

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.

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.

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