W.I. Newsletter May 2015


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This month was our Annual Meeting and I don’t think I can do any better than share with you part of our President, Kate Bennett’s report of the past 12 months.

“Well, I have completed my first year as President and must say I have found it interesting, educational, challenging at times but overall very enjoyable. We have had 11 meetings; gained 5 new members, have 3 dual members and a total of 33 full members.

Together we have learnt how to be ‘Nude not Rude’, lost at Darts, won at Scrabble and come a significant 3rd in the quiz.  Organ donation was discussed and a cookery demonstration enjoyed, some chilled in a mega shed and we now know what to do with arnica and aloe vera, Michael Portillo won a lot of hearts, Thomas Plant enthralled the Anton Danebury Group with talk of antiques and Janet Street-Porter had us laughing along with her life.

We have been creative making jewellery and boxes, baking cakes, made vats of tea and coffee, and with much courage and fortitude, ate and drank our way through 11 Supper Clubs, 10 Lunch Clubs, 1 post-Christmas Dinner and the brave few walked many miles as a group before venturing into various hostelries. (After all it is important to support local businesses!)

Numerous lists were signed and journeys taken, some saw the baton whiz past (don’t blink you’ll miss it). Hampton Court was a royal success, we watched Alice dancing through Wonderland, and ventured out for a Second visit to the Exotic Marigold Hotel.

Andy Rhind-Tutt entranced us with his passionate talk about Stonehenge and Blickmead Abbey, Trisha Lewis sprinkled us with Christmas, Lynne Lucas brought colour into our lives, we learnt to ‘Make do and mend’ followed by a song or two, our green fingers were tickled by the Hampshire Gardens Trust whilst mourning jewellery preceded ‘fashion through the ages’ where we learnt how the bobbed hairstyle was all a result of the Guillotine.

As a group we donated to the Foodbank, swapped magazines, read books and discussed them, knitted for Zimbabwe and supported numerous causes and committees within Abbotts Ann and further afield.

Plans for next year are coming together as we go to Waddesdon Manor in August, hear about Outer Mongolia and wait for the safe return of two members, 1 to take tea at Buckingham Palace with the Duchess of Cornwall and 1 to represent us at the Centenary Meeting, with the Queen and Princess Royal, at the Royal Albert Hall.

I am very grateful to those who have hosted monthly coffee Mornings.

I would like to thank all the committee, for listening to my ideas and putting me straight at times. For guiding me through the W.I ways and protocol and generally trying to keep me on the straight and narrow – I shall keep pushing those boundaries little by little (if I am re-elected)……….”

Of course, Kate was re-elected as president – overwhelmingly so.  Thanks were given to Pat Balam who is stepping down from the committee after many years and Gill Page who, whilst remaining on the committee, has decided after six years as Treasurer to hand the keeping of our accounts on to someone else.   Cecilia Cotton is returning to the post of Secretary, as Lynne Lucas has completed the 12 months she promised to do for Kate.

As you can see below, in June we will not be in the village hall, the venue is to be The Lavender Fields in Alton instead.

Diary Dates

11 June                 –              Supper Club – The Mallet Arms, Newton Toney

13 June                 –              Walking Group

13 June                 –              Centenary Celebrations at Sir Harold Hillier Gardens (ticketed event)

23 June                 –              Reading Group

25 June                 –              Monthly Meeting – visit to Lavenders Fields, Alton.

27 June                 –              Lunch Club (tbc