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Blue plaque in Garvagh will honour Women's Institute doyenne Dorothea Florence Macausland

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Annual meeting of the National Federation Of Women’s Institute at the Royal Albert Hall in London

Annual meeting of the National Federation Of Women’s Institute at the Royal Albert Hall in London

PA

Annual meeting of the National Federation Of Women’s Institute at the Royal Albert Hall in London

The woman who founded the Women's Institute here will be honoured this week by the Ulster History Circle.

A blue plaque will be unveiled on Friday to Dorothea Florence Macausland in her former home town of Garvagh to mark International Women's Day.

Born in India in 1888, Ms Macausland was educated in England but spent her holidays at her family's residence in Garvagh, and it was to Garvagh the family moved when her father retired. Ms Macausland trained as a nurse during World War One and was on board a troopship that was sunk by a torpedo.

After the war Ms Macausland trained as a health visitor and joined the Women's Institute, eventually becoming Warwickshire county secretary.

In 1932 she returned to Garvagh where she organised the first ever Women's Institute meeting, held in her home.

Ms Macausland organised a public meeting in September that year in the local hall that was attended by 40 women, and by the end of the year this number had doubled.

These women assisted Ms Macausland in setting up Women's Institute groups in other areas and earned her the role of federation chairman in 1946-1947 before being made an honorary life member of the federation in 1950. Ms Macausland died in 1970 and is buried in St Paul's Church in Garvagh.

Dr Myrtle Hill from the Ulster History Circle said: "The Ulster History Circle is delighted to pay tribute to the woman whose vision introduced the immense benefits of this organisation."

Belfast Telegraph