March is Women’s History Month and is is very appropriate that a number of our key anniversaries surrounding the formation of the Poor House Ladies Committee fall in this month.

On this day 1826 Belfast Charitable Society received the letter written by the women who had attended the meeting with Elizabeth Fry earlier in March 1826. After considering the contents of the letter, the men agreed to to the establishment of a ‘Ladies Committee’ for the Poor House.

Mary Ann McCracken, a women who had close familial ties to the Poor House, remained involved the the Ladies Committee from the early days through to 1851 when it was dissolved due to falling attendance. That same year Mary Ann turned 81- truly living up to her motto “it is better to wear out, than to rust out.”