Inishmacsaint Parish Church recently paid tribute to Mrs Betty Ferguson who has been parish organist for the last 57 years and an active member of the church choir. The Rector, Chancellor Stanley Bourke, in paying tribute to Betty said the parishioners of Inishmacsaint had been blessed with Betty's talent as an organist and thanked her for her commitment and dedication to serving the Lord through music. He also spoke about her willing and helpful co-operation with him as Rector over the last ten years. The special occasion was marked during a recent morning service when Betty was presented with a watch and flowers. Betty was also presented with a certificate of dedication and appreciation for her long service to Inishmacsaint Parish.
Betty is a self taught organist and said her musical talent came from her father, the Late William Robinson from Tully who was a very active member of Church Hill Silver Band. Betty remembers her late father buying her an organ at a fair in Derrygonnelly and this is where she got her interest in music. At that time, the late Dr. Sides was the church organist and she asked Betty to help play the organ and 57 years later she is still a faithful organist.
Betty also recalls that when she first played the organ it had no electric and had to be pumped by hand. This required a great deal of skill and coordination between the organist and the person pumping the organ to ensure the music came on at the right time. Betty also recalls being recognised by the late Archdeacon Skuce who presented her with a Waterford crystal bowl for 25 years as organist. Betty isn't hanging up her shoes just yet and will continue to help and support the church in the years ahead.
Doris Elliot Betty Ferguson Chancellor Stanley Bourke and young parishioners presenting gifts
Betty Ferguson and Chancellor Stanley Bourke
Betty Ferguson at the organ