Thursday night was the East Londonderry Association of the Alliance Party's AGM. I went last year shortly after I joined the party; it being my first taste of things to be, and seemingly the first taste of youth the Association had seen in many a year - As I sat waiting for it to begin, a little lady scurried up to me and asked if I was from the Press! Having been slightly involved over the past year, I went again, roping in some friends to come too. Rach, Richard, Callum, Ashleigh and Pete were the talk of the evening! Constant references to all these young people who turned up. I could hear wee old women chatting in the balance tone* about who these people were and wondering where they came from. I thought the evening itself was reasonably interesting. There was the usual reports and re-nominations (which saw a red faced Pete fighting off attempts to have him elected to various posts and yours truly become the Publicity Secretary, whatever that may be). Ian Parsley (pictured, North Down Deputy Mayor and Party Policy Spokesperson) spoke about all things central, and what the Party is doing and is looking to be doing in the year ahead, on cutting down on the cost of segregation, improving the economy and furthering sustainability efforts.
Whilst I thought the evening was interesting, I wasn't expecting my friends to have had a good time. Yet surprisingly they did. And I think that seems to come down the lure of influence. Whilst the Association might be just a bunch of old fogies, they are people campaigning to make a difference and - through local councillor Barney Fitzpatrick and Party Central - they are. And I thought back to last year's AGM where I grasped that. I realised in me a desire to be involved in spheres of influence, be that in local politics, lobbying, journalism or outher outlets.
*The Balance tone - A volume old women have perfected whereby speaking quietly enough so that it's a private conversation yet speaking loudly enough so the person you're talking to can hear, thus making the conversation public. Perfected during church services when talking about the preacher