100th and 40th anniversaries

Blagdon WI – March Meeting

President Judith Swetman welcomed everyone, including visitor Cynthia to our March meeting;  quite a bit of business to get through with so many exciting events coming up, not only for the National Federation’s 100th anniversary but also Avon Federation’s 40th birthday too.  Plans are being laid months ahead to make sure ‘all goes well on the night’ as it were.  There is to be a mammoth craft exhibition in M Shed, on the docks in Bristol in September  showing off all the skills that WI ladies do so well; it was our Group’s  judging last month , to find out which entries were to go forward to show – of our 9 entries, 3 received ‘Gold’, that is, high enough marks to go through.  Well done to all.

There is to be a formal WI Garden Party in Buckingham Palace in June, one member from each Institute in the country may attend – we have yet to chose our lucky representative, whilst as many  members as would like, plus spouses, partners or friends accompanying, can join our day’s outing to Dunster  in August; the more the merrier.

On this day before Red Nose Day (the meeting was on Thursday 12th March) we did our own spot of fundraising for women in India, everyone collecting  ‘a pee (P)for a wee(k)’ , and sending £40.50p to the WI charity “ Associated Country Women of the World”  quite a lot of pennies if you add them all up.   And talking of fundraising,  we were exhorted to start on the seed sewing, plant dividing, and potting on business for our  annual plant sale  which this year is entitled ‘Coffee, Cake and Cuttings’ to be held on the 6th June in the Village Club as usual.  More details in next month’s report.

Before our evening’s speaker was introduced the President gave her report on the Avon Spring Meeting held the day before (Wednesday 11th March) in the Winter Gardens in Weston-s-Mare; it is threatened that it is to be the last one of our Federation Meetings held in that venue, however there is a glimmer of hope it will never happen, they just don’t want to see us go.  The Meeting was opened by a parade of Institute Banners and I’m happy to report that our Banner, created for our 60th Birthday in 2008, was thought very highly of, receiving praise from all sides.

In this, the historical 100th year of our existence it is more important than ever to work as a TEAM to achieve the maximum we are capable of –we were told that ‘Together Everyone Achieves Most’.

Finally, it was cookery time , with our speaker Bini Ludlow, who founded and runs a cookery school called Sweet  Cumin;  a bright bubbly lady who came across as a teacher who is indeed very passionate about the way food is cooked, with the right combination of spices added so that the result is the authentic taste of India.  And not just ‘India as a whole’ but specifically unique to the many different areas of the sub- continent.  Glorious smells wafted right  to the back of the hall, making those who had not had their evening meal at home before the meeting very hungry!  We did of course get to sample the very tasty curry Bini prepared as she talked.

Our meeting next month is one for members – with an American supper, quizzes, games of Hoy and of course lots of chat.  A good chance for us all to really get to know our new members – if you would like to try out being a ‘new member’ please come along on Thursday 9th April , 7.30pm in the Village Club and join in.