Serving the community

There was a Burns Night in honour of the Scottish poet in the Central Library at the end of last month. It was a very enjoyable evening of music poetry, song and dance. The writer, Wilson Burgess ,was master of ceremonies.

There was a Burns Night in honour of the Scottish poet in the Central Library at the end of last month. It was a very enjoyable evening of music poetry, song and dance. The writer Wilson Burgess was master of ceremonies.

A series of lectures, ’Personalities of the Decade 1912 – 1922’, started in the Central Library last Friday. The first lecture was about James Craig and Edward Carson and the movement against Home Rule. The lecture was excellent and it would be difficult to think of a better discussion session. We were given a clear insight into the character of the two men. An interesting comparison was made between the two historical documents, the Ulster Covenant and the Easter Proclamation. The knowledge of members of the audience participating in the discussion was most impressive.

The series is very important from different points of view. First of all, it gives us information about the notable people of the time and their outlook. And then it teaches us lessons for today. Can political problems be resolved by militarism and war? Religion was central in the Irish conflict: everyone thought God was on their side. We must examine fundamental ideas: freedom, nation, democracy, for instance. When we think of the past, we must also think of the future and put pressure on our representatives to avoid the mistakes of history. Idealism? Well, no matter how bad things are, you must always remain hopeful.

The events organised in the library encourage leisure reading and serious study, and show how enterprising the staff are. Libraries have a central role in community life, particularly in this little corner of the country, where we are trying to create one community and promote reconciliation and mutual understanding. There were people from ‘the both sides’ at the events I mentioned. We should support the work of the libraries. Drop into your local library to see the programme of events.