WI Newsletter – October 2007

It was laughter all the way, when several of our members attended the Danebury Group Autumn Meeting, where we were entertained by Ann Chance who had us laughing throughout the evening as she described how she came to jump out of an aeroplane dressed as Wonder Woman – fortunately with a parachute – and all in a good cause. Rather than making a habit of this, Ann decided she would prefer to learn to fly so she gave an amusing account of her successful attempts to gain her pilot’s licence when she was in her early fifties and she hasn’t looked back since.

Inspirational women seemed to be the theme of October, as later in the month several of us travelled to Basingstoke for Hampshire Federation’s Autumn Council Meeting, where Angela Baker (instigator of that infamous Calendar) was given a standing ovation. There was laughter and tears as she explained show she and her friends and fellow WI members came to reveal all and they are well on their way to raising their second million for the Leukaemia Research Fund. More information can be found on their website of next year’s calendar – yes there is another one and even chocolate apparently.

Other speakers included May Kidd, Deputy World President of the Association of Country Women Worldwide, who spoke movingly of how we take so many things for granted, which are denied to other women, particularly in Eastern Europe. We also learnt more about the workings of the House of Lords from Baroness Perry of Southwark.

At our own meeting this month, it was diaries at the ready as members made a note of all the activities on offer – walking, skittles, attending WI Council Meetings, Christmas celebrations, and even a chance to get away for a few days next summer – Abbotts Ann WI certainly like to look ahead.

Recently retired from Test Valley Borough Council, Clive Judd, a familiar face to many of us, had been persuaded to talk about what it had been like to have a different boss every year.

Clive had quite a few responsibilities during his time with TVBC, some as diverse as organising elections and arranging funerals for those who die in the Borough without relatives or friends to carry out this final tribute – sadly, this can occur two or three times a year.

However, on this occasion he was explaining about his role as Assistant to the Mayor of Test Valley – hence working with someone new each year – where his job was to offer support and guidance to each incumbent during their 12 month term. There are times, especially leading up to Christmas when the Mayor can have as many as six engagements in one day, as well as carrying out their duties as a Councillor and in many cases holding down a full time job. Clive also organised civic events ensuring everyone was in the right place at the right time and that all ran like clockwork.

Although only just retired, Clive is already wondering how he found time to go to work.

Diary Dates:

06 November – Book Club

29 November – Annual Meeting – 7.30 p.m. Village Hall

01 December – Walking Group

13 December – Christmas Celebrations

18 December – Book Club

It’s our Annual Meeting in November, a chance to reflect over the past 12 months and look forward to next year as a new committee is formed and officers elected. However, following the necessary formalities there will be an opportunity for a chat so visitors are still welcome.

Sharon King