Limavady Rotarian Maureen shares her story

Maureen Magowan with fellow Rotarians and children from Rossmar School, Limavady. 1502SJ66-maureen
Maureen Magowan with fellow Rotarians and children from Rossmar School, Limavady. 1502SJ66-maureen

One of Limavady’s most experienced Rotarians, a former Roe Valley Hospital midwife, Maureen Magowan, has been helping people of the borough, young and old for years. Here, she shares her experiences about her work helping residents of the Roe Valley.

“In 1998 I was invited to join the Rotary Club of Limavady where I have served as secretary for three years and as a Past President. My role recently has been as Chairperson of the Community & Vocational Committee.

Last year we built a beautiful garden for the residents of Thackeray Place and for our annual event, we in the Rotary Club enjoy a day out with some of the children from Rossmar School to the Brunswick Superbowl – this happens in June each year and is called Kid’s Out!

We recently gave Rossmar School money to purchase essential toys and equipment for their Nursery School. It was my pleasure to present a cheque for £500 to Brian McLaughlin, the Principal of Rossmar School.

The Rotary Club in Limavady is part of a wider Rotary Fellowship in Britain and Ireland and worldwide. Our International Motto is “Service Above Self”.

Our involvement with fundraising and ‘hands on’ work brings us into contact with local people as well as our international commitments to a variety of places. We sponsor children in Africa through their education. We are building schools, homes and orphanages. We support very worthy Rotary emergency response teams worldwide with clean water equipment and Shelter Boxes. At £500 each, every box has a tent large enough for a family of eight and has all the essential equipment for living. There are many more worthy causes that we fundraise to support.

Prior to my retirement for the N.H.S. in 2000, I had worked in the Nursing Service for many years. My initial training was in the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast and these were very happy years. My closest friends today are the colleagues from those years in the “Royal”. They provided me with the “family” that I didn’t have in this country as my parents and relatives were in Hong Kong.

I was the fifth generation to be born and brought up there. My parents spent three years interred by the Japanese in Stanley Prison Camp where I was born Maureen Fox. They were very hard years for them and they survived on a ration of one bowl of rice a day. When my mother was pregnant and while feeding me, my father gave her half of his daily ration. I have no memory of these times and my parents seldom spoke of these three dreadful years.

My father was in the Colonial Service and came originally from Raphoe, Co Donegal so it was no surprise that I spent the last few years of education in Northern Ireland before going to the R.V.H. to do my nursing.

I also married an Ulsterman and we moved to Limavady in 1968. Although I have returned to Hong Kong many times and visited family and friends and it was home to me, I now consider Limavady to be my home.”