On Wednesday 13th June Graymount House at Hazelwood Integrated College was transformed into an elegant summer’s day afternoon tea party kindly organised by the PTFA (Parent, Teacher Friends Association). With the finest of china and pretty tablecloths this tea ceremony had thought of everything; even down to the handle of the teacup facing the three to four o’clock position!

The elaborate menu on offer consisted of crustless finger sandwiches and a selection of hot buttered scones with jam and cream, little pastries and cakes.

“Afternoon tea was created to foster friendship. May all of your afternoon’s always be filled with good tea and good friends.”   Ellen Easton

Guests were greeted by Kuddles the Kinship Bear; Kinship is a charity in Northern Ireland helping to keep families together. The guests included the Principal of the Primary School, Mrs Patricia Murtagh, Rector of United Parish of Saint Peter and Saint James Belfast. The event was also supported by Roisin Marshall, CEO of Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education (NICIE) as well as many of the governors of the college and the Principal Elect Ms Máire Thompson.

Guest speaker was Jacqueline Williamson, Chief Executive with Kinship Care NI. Jacqueline shared her 17 years’ experience of working in senior positions in the voluntary and community sectors. Her enthusiasm and passion was very clear for everyone to see.  Jacqueline has extensive knowledge of the social care system having grown up in care. Her interests include foster care, kinship care and social pedagogy.

Jacqueline was awarded ‘Overall Woman of the Year’ by Derry City Council in March 2014 and in 2018 was awarded a MBE in the New Year Honours List.

The proceeds from the afternoon tea were going to help Kinship Care with their special work.

The tables were organized by PTFA and staff in a friendly competition on who could produce the best theme and table settings. We were helped in our endeavours by, Mr Tom Ferguson, Mr Dean Kernoghan, Mr Mark Stewart as well as staff from the canteen and office. The judges were Mrs Lynn Robinson (Head of Home Economics) and Mrs Laura Galloway (Home Economics Technician).  It was a difficult task with “A Teddy Bear’s Picnic” being announced as the winner and “Miss Haversham’s delight” was runner up.

The tea ceremony dates back to 1840s and still today it is the ideal way to entertain neighbours, friends and even business acquaintances. It creates the same elegant, refined and calm atmosphere that was enjoyed centuries ago.  A lovely afternoon was had by everyone who attended Hazelwood’s PTFA tea ceremony.

The tables were as follows

  • Casino Royale by PTFA
  • A Teddy Bear’s Picnic by Mrs Gemma Powell and Miss Helen McCullough
  • A Day at the Beach by Mrs Grainne McLaughlin and Mrs Linda Drennan
  • Miss Haversham’s delight by Hazelwood Integrated Primary School
  • Hazelwood Doves in Harmony by Mrs Kathleen O’Hare and Mrs Patricia Kelly
  • The Students by PTFA
  • The Smurfs by PTFA