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WI Newsletter – November 2004

At the beginning of the month, Muriel Spanholtz organised a visit to the Weyhill Craft units where some of members had a pleasant stroll around the various booths, finishing in the coffee shop for welcome refreshments. This was an opportunity for our members to have a chat and get to know each other better.

November is when we hold our Annual Meeting, this gives us the chance to look back over the previous 12 months as well as looking forward to the future. The new committee is formed, and this year we had two changes. Cecilia Cotton and Muriel Spanholtz stood down; they will be much missed from our committee meetings, as there is very little they don’t know about the W.I. However, we are delighted to welcome Aileen Catterson and Sue Farr to the committee, particularly as these are two of our 12 new members in 2004. This is very encouraging.

Our Treasurer gave a brief report of our finances and our Secretary Sheila Lockhart gave a report on behalf of the Committee, detailing all our activities for 2004 – all of which are mentioned in previous newsletters. In my President’s Report, I take the opportunity to thank all those members who have worked so hard during the year, to make Abbotts Ann W.I. the thriving and successful Institute that it is.

This year our W.I. Adviser, Eryl Thompsett was present, Eryl is our first port of call if we have any problems or queries and she is extremely supportive and encouraging. Apparently, Eryl could tell we are thriving when she entered the Hall – she could feel the buzz.

It was then time to vote in the President for 2005, there were three nominations, but only I said “yes”- do you think the others know something I don’t?

Once the formal business was over, there was plenty of social time which is always welcome.

Just a few days later, 10 of our members came together for a Christmas Workshop. Our speaker for September, Frances Horn, very kindly put together a special morning just for us at her premises in Upper Clatford. The session started with a presentation on how to dress a table, or in such cases how not to do it. Then it was on to Christmas wrapping. Frances encouraged us to think laterally and to use items for something other than the purposes for which they were designed – one simple idea was to use a pretty, sparkly hair band to decorate a parcel – so simple, but most effective.

The fun part was towards the end of the morning when it was our turn to wrap a bottle each (sadly already empty) – everyone created something different and Frances was delighted she didn’t have to judge them as this would have been very difficult.

The cost of the morning was subsidised by the use of the Pamela King Bursary – this is a way to ensure that as many members as possible benefit from this generous gift from Pamela’s family.

Only four of our members were lucky enough to attend an Evening with Kate Adie in Chandlers Ford on the last day of the month. So popular was this event that tickets had to be restricted, the Hall at Thornden School could have been filled three times over. Not being one of the lucky few, I am told it was a splendid evening. Kate began by telling how she started in journalism; touched on the subject of women in uniform, which in turn lead to her sharing many stories of her own experiences reporting on conflicts around the world. The evening finished with a long question and answer session and, bearing in mind that one of our own meetings next year takes the form of Desert Island Discs, Shelia Lockhart asked what her luxury items would be in such a situation – a toothbrush, a torch and some whisky – came the reply, which sounds reasonable to me.

We now look forward to our Christmas party in the Village Hall on 09 December when we can sit back and relax whilst someone else does all the hard work – thank goodness.

Sharon King

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