WI Newsletter – April 2004

Snow does seem to be a dominant feature for us this year, however, this time it was only on screen and not the real thing – such a relief – but there was a lot of it. Julia Jenkins had organised the speaker for this month. Traditionally the committee takes a back seat at the members’ meeting, whilst the non-committee members do all the running around. The non-committee members organise anything that is normally done by the committee, although the President and Secretary still take the first part of the meeting, keeping everyone up-to-date with news and events.

So why the snow, well our speaker was Duncan Haigh, who has recently come to live in the Village, and he kindly brought along his slides. These were taken during his two and half years as a member of the British Antarctic Survey from September 93 until February 96. He shared with us the breathtaking scenery, wildlife and believe it or not the nightlife. The team celebrated Christmas and mid-Winter, which actually falls during June, in some style, dressing formally and indulging in a feast followed by entertainment – playing snooker or darts and maybe a quiz. At the time, the only means of communication with his friends and family was the post brought in by plane and a monthly fax from his mother – this was all before email had become so accessible. Now he can communicate with friends down there regularly, exchanging news and photographs electronically. Such is progress.

In the coming weeks our Skittles team is in action on 18 May in the Hampshire Federation Final, the Quiz Team will be testing their brainpower on 14 June and we are indulging in some Mid-Summer Madness on 30 June in the Village Hall. This is our fund-raising event for the year, and the weather will determine the final format of the evening, but we are organising lots of activities for both inside and out of doors. All this is to be followed by a cold buffet supper; tickets are £6 each, if anyone would like to join us please get in touch – we would love to see you.

Our May meeting will see us debating three Resolutions which will be voted on at the AGM in Sheffield in June. These are the growing of GM Crops in the UK, the Air Ambulance Service funding and the trafficking of women and children. Whilst we do have fun, there is also a serious side to the WI and it is important to realise that we do have a voice and one that is heard; we can and do make a difference. So please do come and see for yourself.

Sharon King