On 10th May, 33 WI members met together on Zoom for a talk by Peta Allingham entitled “A Woman’s Experience of Participating in Scientific Expeditions on 4 Continents”. It was indeed a no holds barred revelation of Peta’s involvement in many scientific expeditions in Europe, Asia, Australia and the USA. She covered the training required, preparations, living conditions, transport, meals, hygiene and relationships with expedition members, both male and female. Not to mention the work that was undertaken! Some of us would have great difficulty in sharing some of the information with our nearest and dearest but it didn’t seem to worry Peta!
The presentation was followed by our AGM, during which annual reports were presented by the Treasurer and Secretaries and an address was given by the out-going President. The financial report showed that we have survived the Covid lockdowns with little damage to our finances and we are in a good position to start our new WI year. The Secretaries gave an overview of all the activities that have taken place during the year April 2020 – March 2021 including Zoom presentations by a range of speakers, monthly newsletters, Christmas and Easter gifts, an afternoon tea “in a bag”, a summer picnic in the forest in August, and a Murder Mystery Evening to celebrate our 103rd Anniversary in February 2021.
During the President’s address, she expanded on the past activities and identified aspects of the programme for 2021 – 2022. A full programme of visiting speakers is already in place along with a visit to Furzey Gardens in August, a commitment to supply refreshments for the Needlework Fiesta in the Village Hall in September and for the World Textile Day event in October. Covid precautions willing, monthly meetings would resume in the Village Hall in September with plans in place to make alternative arrangements should Covid restrictions be imposed again. The President revealed that 63 members had renewed their subscriptions – a fall of 5 because of 2 members moving from the area and 3 other longstanding members deciding to attend occasional meetings as guests. There were expressions of thanks to all the Committee Members for their hard work and support during the year. Three Committee Members had retired and four new members had been co-opted to take their places. An expression of thanks was also offered to all WI members for their tolerance of the alternative arrangements that had to be made during the periods of lockdown, their support for and appreciation of the committee’s endeavours, their friendship and messages of encouragement. A proposal for acceptance of the Annual report was made by the President and seconded by Maureen Phillips.
During the final part of the meeting, the WI Adviser revealed the positive results of advance voting for membership of the committee and for the in-coming President, Elaine Blachford.
Our next meeting will take place on Monday 14th June at 7.00pm via Zoom. The speaker will be Steve Herra and his talk is intriguingly entitled “Body Through the Porthole”. The event is open to WI members and members of the public. For Zoom joining information, please contact us.