||Joint Tour of Parliament Buildings, Stormont and selected places in Belfast - 19 September 2009
More than one hundred members of historical societies north and south participated in a memorable day out in Belfast. Although the weather had an indifferent start it all cleared to a fine sunny afternoon as can be seen from this group photo on the steps of Parliament Buildings.
The Guided Tour was undertaken by a member of the Assembly staff, a very engaging and knowledgeable young lady, who, in the short time available, delivered a great deal on interesting information about the building and the estate and took the group through the old Senate Chamber and the main debating chamber where the NI Assembly meets.
Lunch, in the Member's Dining room, was excellent, three courses served by attentive, friendly and efficient staff.
The highlight of the event was the launch of the Federation's 2009 edition of Due North by Nelson McCausland, Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure.
The Minister commended the work of both Federations in promoting local history. He said,
Local studies are a wonderful way of bringing together people from different backgrounds and traditions to learn new skills and build relationships. This type of exchange helps us all to appreciate the rich diversity that exists in our society and supports the development of a greater understanding of our shared heritage. Local history is very much underpinned by the great resources held in our archives, libraries, local and national museums. It is heartening to know that the Federation for Ulster Local Studies has close ties with these bodies that are funded by DCAL.
After lunch the groups, mingled on the two coaches, were taken on a short tour of some of the interesting areas of Belfast, including a short stop at Belfast Castle to see over the city.
In all a very successful event, with the renewal of old aquaintances and the formation of new friendships that will grow and prosper as the years go by.