80 members and their guests enjoyed a very convivial evening at Archbishop’s House in September attending the Society’s Autumn Reception. Although the event was postponed by one week and consequently clashed with school half-term, this did mean that the reception could be hosted by Cardinal Vincent himself, hot foot from his participation in the Synod on the Family in Rome. This provided us with an opportunity to receive an immediate first-hand account of the Synod activities and Cardinal Vincent’s personal impressions of the achievements of the process. The Cardinal spoke after we had heard from Council member Robert Rigby about his own personal travels, this time to stand as a candidate in the recent general election for the Northern Ireland constituency of Newry and Armagh. Robert explained the rationale for standing as one of the first Conservative candidates for a seat in Northern Ireland in modern times and gave us an intimate view of politics in the province – an intriguing insight for the majority of us who are probably totally perplexed by how Northern Ireland politics work!
It was pleasing to see new faces at the event (including the youngest-ever participant in the Chairman’s 18 month-old granddaughter who made a brief appearance when baby-sitting arrangements went slightly awry) and the subsequent arrival of new membership applications is testament to how much they enjoyed the evening.