5th December 2020
As part of the NI100 Committees approach to the centenary of our country next year we contacted all the 11 councils along with the NIO and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in Dublin.
We have held virtual meetings with most but not all. Indeed all councils have been in touch with one exception, Derry and Strabane. But there is no surprise there. However we have had a positive meeting with Newry and Mourne Council which has the smallest Unionist population of all the councils.
It is pleasing to note that some councils are pushing ahead with their own plans and we are encouraged by this. It is our intention to assist councils in anyway we can.
Anyway I'm pleased to report that the both the NIO and DFA have agreed to further meetings and we will work together going forward.
One thing we all agree on is that COVID-19 is playing havoc with planning events. Many have events they would like to hold but no date due to the pandemic. I think it's fair to say we can rule out the first quarter of 2021.
If anyone out there wants their group to meet representatives of NI100 send an email to [email protected] and we'll sort something out.
19th October 2020
We are pleased to announce that, as part of our legacy projects, the renowned Scottish artist, Helen Runciman, has been commissioned to produce a bronze bust of Sir James Craig, 1st Viscount Craigavon, and first Prime Minister of Northern Ireland.
Helen is a full-time professional artist based in Denny, Stirlingshire, Scotland. Her work ranges from small delicate watercolours to large mysterious oil paintings. Her subject matter is varied and, although now working mainly figuratively, her work encompasses landscapes, seascapes and street scenes.
Helen is well known to our charity as she was commissioned in 2017 to produce a bronze bust of Rifleman William McFadzean VC. This bust was erected in Lurgan town centre and unveiled by Her Majesty's Representative, Lord Lieutenant for County Armagh, Nicholas James Alexander, 7th Earl of Caledon, KCVO on the 13th October 2018.
We are also delighted to announce that Helen has also been commissioned to produce 100 Limited Edition miniatures of the Lord Craigavon bust. These will be cold cast, approximately 8 inches in height and are miniature versions of the bronze sculpture of Lord Craigavon that will be unveiled in Brownlow House, Lurgan in November 2021.
As we approach the 100th year of our country we hope this project will leave a lasting legacy in the Borough of Craigavon, the borough that was named after one of Northern Ireland’s founding fathers, Sir James Craig, 1st Viscount Craigavon, and first Prime Minister of Northern Ireland.
NI 100 Mascot
28th September 2020
We are pleased to introduce our NI100 Mascot, Frederick the Lion.
Frederick will help us engage with the younger generation as he will be part of our educational resource.
The lion has an important place in Northern Ireland's history. It forms part of the countries Coat of Arms. It was the name given to the operation carried out by those who would become Northern Ireland's founding Fathers and Mothers in 1914 snd it is also the main character in the book by Belfast born CS Lewis.
Frederick will be appearing around Northern Ireland in the weeks and months ahead.
We have no doubt that Frederick will help ensure that 2021 is a roaring success.
17th August 2020
We are pleased to see the marking of the 100th Anniversay of Northern Ireland has been brought to the fore.
In recent days regional and national politicians have made their views clear on how we should mark, not just the 100th Anniversary of Northern Ireland but also the 100th Anniversary of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
The press releases from the First Minister and Prime Minister have been very positive but as expected there are those who seek to do a disservice to this milestone for their own political gain.
As a group we recognise that there are those who will wish not to mark the anniversary, and that is their right, just as it is the right of others who do wish to mark the
Our charities main aim is education and therefore it will play a key role in our portfolio of events and resources throughout the year.
A number of educationalists have joined our NI 100 committee and are currently working on an educational resource that can be used by primary schools across Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland - Past, Present and Future. The resource will give our young people an understanding of the past, where we are now and the future for Northern Ireland.
We plan to contact schools across Northern Ireland regarding our "Northern Ireland 100 Words Competition". Children will be asked to complete the following statement. “I Love Northern Ireland because ......”. The children that enter will be given a commemorative NI100 coin and their school will receive recognition.
In recent months we also invited people to be part of our Northern Ireland Oral History Project. We are currently looking to speak to people who will celebrate their 100th Birthday in 2021. The aim is to record their stories so they can be accessed by future generations.
We are also reaching out to Councils across Northern Ireland asking them to consider being part of the Northern Ireland Homecoming 2021. The aim of the Homecoming is to see groups and organisations organise a series of events, in their local areas, throughout 2021. The hope would be that these events would entice people of Northern Irish ancestry to visit Northern Ireland.
The four proposed themes of the Homecoming are culture and heritage, great minds and innovations, food and drink and sports and entertainment.
Culture & Heritage – Celebration/Exhibition showcasing local cultural traditions, organisations and Armed Forces heritage.
Great Minds & Innovations – Celebration/Exhibition of local people and their legacy.
Food & Drink – Celebration/Fayre of local companies promoting brand “Northern Ireland.”
Sport & Entertainment – Celebration of local sportsmen, women and entertainers from Northern Ireland. Also exploring the histories of local sporting teams and organisations.
In addition we are commissioning a number of bespoke art works for installation across Northern Ireland. Further information will be available regarding these in the very near future.
People say “we have nothing to celebrate”, but our 4 themes show that if there is one thing we can agree on it is that people from Northern Ireland have made their mark across the globe and they should be remembered and their achievements celebrated.
If you would like to get in touch with the committee email [email protected]
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