Pat West, a former (and we hope future) member of the NWLWI gave a fascinating talk about her work as part of the team involved in the three-year restoration and refurbishment of the Courtauld Institute building in Somerset House. It was fascinating to hear about the history of the building and how the restoration combined the old and the new, resulting in a fabulous, modern and accessible building which houses the galleries as well as the Institute. Pat told us about all the obstacles and challenges that the team overcame in the course of the three years, not least managing to oversee the project via Zoom during the Covid lockdowns! We can’t wait to visit!
On the 6th of April, we met at our new venue, St Anne’s in Salusbury Road.
One of our members, Janet Cummins, gave us a fascinating insight into the practices of Quakerism, the common name for the Religious Society of Friends. Starting with a brief history beginning in the mid-1700s, Janet described Quaker philosophy, the foundation beliefs and congregational practices. She emphasised the focus on equality in all aspects of communal life and the role of women during past centuries when these were not commonly recognised in general society. Her talk provoked a lively discussion, with our members keen to ask a wide variety of questions regarding Quakers’ wedding and funeral practices, roles in commerce, and comparisons with other organised religions across the world.
We enjoyed a riveting presentation from Val and Meena about their hair-raising experiences of mountaineering and rock climbing, both in the UK as well as the Alps and the Himalayas. There was also a video of audio stories illustrating how things have changed over the last 100 years – we learned that 100 years ago women had to climb in long skirts (but usually hid their skirts behind a boulder as soon as they were out of sight!)
Check out the Pinnacle Club centenary website for more details: https://www.pc100.org/
Debs was a wonderful tutor, showing us how to make our own lavender hearts – all in all a great evening with a fine selection of hearts produced! It was lovely to be able to meet in person again at the Masons Arms
At our January meeting we had a good discussion on the WI 2022 Resolutions and then took a vote (vote still open to members until Tuesday 18th January – contact Frances for further details)
- Fit for Purpose – Fit for Girls
- Appropriate Sentencing of Non-Violent Women Offenders
- Equality in Law for the Menopause
- Women and Girls with ASD and ADHD Under-Identified, Under-Diagnosed and Under-Supported
- Tackling Digital Exclusion
More details on the resolutions can be found on the National Federation of WI’s website here
We then enjoyed a friendly, if rather competitive, game of Bingo with Caroline proving that she missed her vocation as a Bingo caller. Plans are now afoot for a visit to a Bingo Hall!
Many thanks to Frances for hosting the annual party – a good time was had by all! Lots of lovely food and drink and party games. Congratulations to Lizzie for winning the Christmas-themed mask competition – a worthy winnner!
The first part of the meeting was the Annual Meeting when Angela was unanimously re-elected as President and the Committee was elected. Members thanked Ilona, who had stepped down from the Committee, for her enormous contribution over the years. The President and Treasurer gave their reports on the last year (copies of the report are available in the Noticeboard section of the website) which were received to acclaim.
We then moved on to a quiz, devised by Denise, which covered a range of topics and got everyone racking their brains. In the end the result was very close, but Team 2 won by a whisker. A very enjoyable evening all round.
Peter Hain talked about his journey from being South Africa’s public enemy No1 to becoming a member of the House of Lords
John Simon, Secretary of the global Rotary Action Group Against Slavery, gave a thought provoking talk about Modern Day Slavery which is one of the issues that Women’s Institute is currently highlighting in its campaigning work.
See below for the powerpoint presentation that John gave, along with useful advice on what to do if you have concerns that someone might be at risk of modern day slavery and a list of useful apps.
We learnt how to dance the Twist, Locomotion, Watusi, Jerk and Pony.
Here’s the list of music:
The Twist – Chubby Checker
Locomotion – Little Eva
The Wah-Watusi – The Orlons
The Jerk – Larks
Pony Time – Chubby Checker