The second lecture, of the Anna Eggert Lecture Series, took place on 8th December and was delivered by Dr Myrtle Hill from Queen’s University who spoke on “Pioneers, Protestors and Preachers: Belfast’s Forgotten Women”. She concentrated largely on the impact of women from the unionist tradition, including missionaries and educational reformers, such as Isabella Tod and Margaret Byers who had a significant impact on female education in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The lecture also considered some of the opportunities opened for women in the foreign missionary field, with a particular focus on the work of Amy Carmichael.
The issues covered were diverse, but they often interconnected, and the aim of the talk was to reflect women’s varied concerns and the link between public and private lives.
Dr Hill added: “I’m also trying to show that there were these few women whom we have got records for who were real pioneers but behind them were a whole range of women making a really significant contribution to areas of our past.”
“The influence of the women of Belfast deserves to be remembered and celebrated; it was robust and we still feel the impact of it now.”